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'Star Wars' creator George Lucas to receive honorary degree at Johns Hopkins graduation

The Force is strong with Johns Hopkins University.

“Star Wars” creator George Lucas will receive an honorary degree from the Baltimore university at commencement ceremonies May 24, Hopkins officials announced Wednesday.

Lucas and his wife, businesswoman Mellody Hobson, who also is receiving an honorary degree, will attend the graduation, Hopkins spokeswoman Jill Rosen said.

Lucas, 73, already had a mainstream hit as a writer-director with 1973’s “American Graffiti” when “Star Wars” was released in 1977. The intergalactic western became more than a massive worldwide hit; it became a cultural force, spawning not only a batch of sequels, prequels and off-shoots — eight so far, with another, “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” set for release in May — but scores of books, toys, TV shows, collectibles, academic treatises and more.

Hobson, 49, is president of Ariel Investments, one of the country’s largest African-American owned investment firms. She is a regular contributor and analyst on CBS News, and in 2015 was named to Time magazine’s annual list of the 100 Most Influential People.

Lucas and Hobson have been married since June 2013.

Hopkins also announced honorary degrees will be going to businessman and philanthropist David H. Bernstein, a trustee emeritus of the university and Johns Hopkins Medicine; civic leader and Hopkins alum Douglas Miles, co-chair of Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development; National Medal of Science recipient Solomon H. Snyder, a Distinguished Service Professor of Neuroscience, Pharmacology and Psychiatry at the JHU School of Medicine; and Bryan A. Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Ala.

The Hopkins commencement ceremony is set for May 24 at Royal Farms Arena. Stevenson will deliver the commencement address.

“This year’s class of honorees exemplify the determination and imagination required to make a lasting impact, not only in their fields, but in our world,” JHU President Ronald J. Daniels said in a news release. “Visionary leaders, thinkers, and creators, they have transformed ideas into action and inspired generations. I am delighted to recognize them with an honorary degree from Johns Hopkins, a community that celebrates such courage, creativity, and optimism.”

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