Gates to Speak at University of Georgia's Fall Graduation

The defense secretary, who is a former university president, will address the graduates in December.


Commencement season always heats up in April and May, and the big speaking announcements don't usually pop up in November. Nonetheless, the University of Georgia snagged an impressive speaker for its fall graduation.

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates will speak to the fall graduates of the University of Georgia at their commencement ceremony on December 18, exactly three years after he was named secretary, the Red and Black reports. Gates, who was the president of Texas A&M prior to becoming George W. Bush's defense secretary in 2006, is a close friend of University of Georgia President Michael Adams.

"There will be great benefit to the university having this guy come to speak," Matt Winston, assistant to the president, tells the Red and Black. "This is a commencement speaker who very well may draw a lot of people in the community."

Gates is the latest addition to an impressive list of Georgia commencement speakers. According to the Red and Black, Herbert Hoover and John F. Kennedy spoke to Georgia graduates before they became president, and Franklin Roosevelt did so during his administration.

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