Al Gore named University of Maryland graduation speaker

Former Vice President Al Gore will deliver the University of Maryland, College Park’s spring commencement address, college officials announced Monday.

He will also receive an honorary doctorate of public service from the university during the May 20 ceremony at the XFINITY Center.

Gore, who served during both terms of the Clinton administration, is the author of the New York Times best-seller, “An Inconvenient Truth.” The book about the dangers of global warming was later adapted as a documentary, which won two Oscars in 2006.

The next year, Gore was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize alongside the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for “informing the world of the dangers posed by climate change.”

He has continued to write books and spread awareness about global warming. He also is a member of Apple Inc.’s board of directors.

"Vice President Gore’s ability to ‘look over the horizon’ while mastering the intricacies of action has earned him a Nobel Prize and a profound record of public service,” university President Wallace D. Loh said. “We are honored and excited to have him as our commencement speaker.”

Gore won the popular vote over Republican candidate George W. Bush during the 2000 presidential election, but failed to secure the electoral college. The United States Supreme Court had to step in to settle a recount dispute after the controversial election.

Political figures have been a popular speaker choice for recent commencement ceremonies. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, a Baltimore Democrat, spoke at the flagship university’s winter commencement.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos addressed the University of Baltimore’s graduating class in December.

Lt. Gov. Boyd K. Rutherford delivered the commencement speech at Morgan State University in the winter, while former Vice President Joe Biden spoke there last May.

trichman@baltsun.com

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