Motivational Speaker Will Give 2009 Commencement Address

Photo: Christopher Gardner
Christopher Gardner

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UC Berkeley's commencement speaker for the class of 2009 will be motivational speaker Christopher Gardner, campus officials confirmed today.

Gardner was selected by the Californians, the student group that puts on commencement ceremonies, said campus spokesperson Gretchen Kell. Last year's speaker was Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist.

Gardner, the founder and CEO of Christopher Gardner International Holdings, rose from homelessness in the 1980s. His autobiography inspired the 2006 movie "The Pursuit of Happyness."

The campus's commencement ceremony will be held on Friday, May 22.

The commencement speaker for UC Merced-the University of California's youngest campus-will be First Lady Michelle Obama, as was announced two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, Harvard University's senior class will be addressed by former Lawrence Berkeley National Lab director and current U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, who was formerly a molecular and cell biology professor at UC Berkeley.

Valerie Woolard is the assistant university news editor. Contact her at [email protected]

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