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Michael Bloomberg to deliver U-M spring commencement address

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Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will speak at the University of Michigan’s spring commencement on April 30, the university announced today.

The University’s Board of Regents will approve his appointment, along with that of five other degree recipients, at their monthly meeting on Thursday. Bloomberg will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

“Bloomberg exemplifies innovation and entrepreneurship in his public service, professional endeavors and philanthropy,” the school said in the announcement.

Bloomberg now serves as the Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change in the United Nations and is the president of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, which comprises of more than 80 large cities around the world that have pledged to focus on how to curb climate change.

Bloomberg announced a week ago, after much speculation, that he will not pursue a presidential run for 2016.

Bloomberg, who founded Bloomberg L.P. in 1981, served as the mayor of New York City from 2002-2013 as an independent, non-partisan politician. Serving three terms, Bloomberg focused largely on education reform, public safety, and job security. He is an active advocate for gun control, having co-founded the bipartisan coalition “Mayors Against Illegal Guns,” and he joined the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group while still mayor.

He is also an active philanthropist. Named the third-largest philanthropic donor in the country by The Chronicle of Philanthropy in 2015, he has donated over $4.3 billion throughout his life, contributing largely to health organizations, charities, nonprofits, and universities.

Bloomberg has delivered commencement addresses at universities including Tufts University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of North Carolina.  

At Tufts in 2007, Bloomberg told graduates to take risks, embrace teamwork, and stand by their principles. And, perhaps most prominently, he urged students to give back:

“Now I've done a lot of cool things: I've thrown out the first pitch at both a Yankees and Mets game... I’ve dropped the ball in Times Square on New Year's Eve...and both Salma Hayek and Derek Jeter call me “Mike.” But those thrills really are fleeting – and believe it or not – ultimately not as fulfilling. The thrills that stay with you forever are the thrills of doing something and giving something back.”

The University of Michigan will also honor four others with honorary degrees. More from the press release:

• Michael Brown, CEO and co-founder of City Year, a nonprofit organization dedicated to engaging young people in a year of national service, Doctor of Laws. His degree will be conferred at the UM-Dearborn ceremony at 2:30 p.m. May 1 at the Crisler Center. • Michele Oka Doner, artist and U-M alumna known for her pioneering and multidisciplinary contributions to visual culture, Doctor of Arts. • Mary-Claire King, world leader in cancer genetics and the use of genomics to address social injustice, Doctor of Science. King also is delivering the commencement address for the Rackham Graduate Ceremony, at 10 a.m. April 29 in Hill Auditorium. • Beverly Daniel Tatum, Spelman College President Emerita, psychologist and U-M alumna, Doctor of Laws.

Last year, the Zingerman’s co-founders Ari Weinzweig and and Paul Saginaw delivered the 2015 Spring Commencement Address.

This year’s spring commencement will take place on April 30 at 10 a.m. at Michigan Stadium.

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