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U.Va. Prepares For Graduation Weekend, May 21 And 22, 2005

May 9, 2005 -- More than 30,000 people are expected on the Lawn at the University of Virginia to attend Final Exercises on Sunday, May 22. Following the academic procession, which begins at 10 a.m., Dr. Vivian Pinn, a 1967 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Medicine, will deliver the commencement address to more than 5,000 students. Pinn, who was the only woman and minority in her U.Va.class, is the first full-time director of the Office of Research on Women's Health  at the National Institutes of Health. She is also the first African-American female to deliver U.Va.’s commencement address in its history of Finals.

Each graduating student may invite up to three guests to watch the outdoor ceremony from seats on the Lawn; tickets are required and will be distributed to graduating students at the University Bookstore from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., May 19 through 21.

About 1,600 indoor seats are available for additional guests to view the ceremony from six air-conditioned auditoriums on the University Grounds. The live broadcast of the Lawn ceremony will be shown on large projection screens located in Newcomb Hall Theater (closed captioning), Newcomb Hall Ballroom, the Chemistry Building, Ruffner Hall (closed captioning), Gilmer Hall Auditoriums (Rooms 130 and 190) and Zehmer Hall. Tickets are not required for remote viewing, and seating is first-come, first serve.

On Saturday, May 21, Ron Suskind, a 1995 Pulitzer Prize-winner for feature writing and 1981 graduate of U.Va.'s College of Arts & Sciences, will give the keynote address at Valedictory Exercises on the Lawn at 11 a.m. Suskind is the author of “A Hope in the Unseen, An American Odyssey from the Inner City to the Ivy League.” His book was launched by a series in the Wall Street Journal.

In addition to Suskind’s talk, the Saturday ceremony, organized by the Class of 2005, will include announcements of some of the University’s most prestigious awards and presentation of the class gift.

For more detailed information about 2005 Final Exercises at U.Va., visit http://www.virginia.edu/majorevents/finals.html

Contacts: Katherine Jackson, (434) 924-3629 or Carolyn M. Dillard, (434) 924-7550

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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