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Obama to speak at Barnard commencement

March 3, 2012 at 10:22 PM

NEW YORK, March 3 (UPI) -- With contraception a hot issue, President Obama plans to deliver the commencement speech this year at Barnard, one of the best-known U.S. women's colleges.

The president's plan to speak May 14 at Barnard College in New York was announced Saturday, The New York Times reported. Barnard President Debora Spar said Obama's appearance will be "unforgettable for the undergraduates and their families."

Obama is to receive the Barnard Medal of Distinction. Barnard is one of four divisions within Columbia University, Obama's alma mater.

Jill Abramson, the first woman to serve as executive editor of the Times, had been scheduled to speak. Spar said Abramson was happy to stand down for the president.

The last three commencement speakers at Barnard were Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg, Oscar-winner Meryl Streep and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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