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First lady Michelle Obama to deliver commencement address at UNI

March 25, 2011

James O'Connor, Office of University Relations, 319-273-2761,

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa is pleased to announce that first lady Michelle Obama will speak at UNI's spring commencement ceremony at 11 a.m., Saturday, May 7, in the UNI-Dome. The university will consolidate three ceremonies into one to provide all graduates the opportunity to be addressed by the first lady.

"We are pleased to host the first lady, someone whose commitment to service, children and healthy communities, reflects UNI's commitment to serve our community, our state and our nation," said UNI President Ben Allen. "We welcome this opportunity for our students to hear the first lady's inspiring story of how higher education impacted her life and her passion for service."

Approximately 1,900 students who will complete their degrees this semester are eligible to participate in the ceremony. "We apologize for any inconvenience this change in schedule may cause," said Allen.

All graduating students participating in the commencement ceremony will be allotted eight tickets for guests. Tickets are free, but all guests must have a ticket. All commencement seats will be general admission. Graduating students must order and pick up their tickets between April 4 and April 20. Tickets are subject to availability.

UNI staff and faculty not participating in the ceremony, and all other UNI students, can receive up to two tickets and can order tickets April 21 through 22. Beginning April 25, any remaining tickets will be made available to the general public. Orders will be limited to a maximum of two tickets and are subject to availability.

Tickets can be ordered by phone at 319-273-4TIX, or they can be picked up in person at any UNItix location. No online orders will be taken. Students, faculty and staff must present their UNI I.D.

More details about commencement, the ticket-ordering process, UNI-Dome access and the day's schedule is posted at The commencement ceremony will be streamed live over the Internet.

Additionally, the UNI Department of Military Science will host its annual spring commissioning ceremony at 8 a.m., Saturday, May 7, in the Lang Hall Auditorium. Four cadets will be commissioned as U.S. Army second lieutenants.