UC Irvine Leans on Lyndon Johnson to Coax Barack Obama into Giving Graduation Speech
UC Irvine previously used Anteater center Mamadou Ndiaye, at 7-foot-6 the tallest collegiate basketball player in the nation, in a video pitch to Barack Obama in hopes the president will come to California to deliver the 2014 commencement address.
Now the university is sweetening the deal by bringing up the historic visit of a previous president: Lyndon B. Johnson.
This is the 50th anniversary of LBJ dedicating the Irvine campus in 1964, the university notes.
It is hoped Obama can deliver the speech Saturday, June 14, at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, where all 8,000 UCI graduates and their guests will be invited to attend. Different university schools will still have their smaller ceremonies on campus. For instance, the schools of law and medicine are scheduled to hold their graduations that same weekend in the Bren Events Center.
Obama's response to the invitation is expected in April, according to UCI.