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UCI Wooing Obama for Commencement Address

School officials are hoping a video from one of the university's basketball players will be convincing.

UCI wants Pres. Obama to give this year's commencement address. Patch file photo.
UCI wants Pres. Obama to give this year's commencement address. Patch file photo.

UC Irvine is wooing President Barack Obama to give the school's 2014 commencement address, possibly at Angel Stadium, it was reported today.

School administrators think they've got a secret weapon in the person of Mamadou Ndiaye, the Orange County Register reported.

Standing 7-foot-6, the tallest collegiate basketball player in the nation -- a popular man on campus -- has given a video invite to Obama, a hoops fan who played on his high school varsity team in Hawaii in the 1970s.

A UC Irvine faculty member will fly to the Capitol in the next couple of weeks to hand deliver the video, which also shows the rest of UC Irvine's men's basketball team shooting hoops. Also slated to be carried into Obama's scheduler's office will be mailbags stuffed with postcards and letters from UCI students and alumni requesting the president's presence at the June 14 event.

Cathy Lawhon, spokeswoman for UC Irvine, told the Register that around 8,000 missives are in hand right now. The goal is to get 2,000 more before making the trip.

Traditionally, hundreds of colleges and universities invite the president to commencement. It's anyone's guess which one Obama will pick this year. Last year he gave the commencement address at Morehouse, an all-male historically black college in Atlanta. In 2012 it was Barnard College for women in New York.

--City News Service

ace February 19, 2014 at 01:30 PM
Does he really need another trip PAID for by the Taxpayers to play another round of golf in Taxifornia. Not to mention screwing up all the road/traffic with his out of control Secret service slaves. Govt Gone WILD. and it will end bad
Donna Fleming February 19, 2014 at 01:59 PM
@ Green...Were you there in the 60's 70's? NO I do not think so. I never had a problem finding a job during those years. I could pick and choose and leave one company for a better job with better benefits, and salary increase. Recruits looked for you. Private sector, aerospace and government, jobs were plentiful. Obama's campaign pledge hope and change, could have worked if he had cut government spending and re-establised something like the CCC's. No this is not Capistrano Common Sense. It was the Civil Conservation Corp and it put people to work within in 6 weeks of Roosevelt taking the oath. My dad worked for the CCC's and it was a Godsend for out of work people. That would have been true leadership.
GreenInOC February 19, 2014 at 02:22 PM
@Donna Fleming, I hope you aren't saying that researching, reading and understanding history beyond our own personal experiences is invalid. Jobs WERE plentiful. Manufacturing started moving overseas and continued to do so. In the late '90's and the early 00's is when white collar jobs started following suit. While your desire to blame President Obama for that is well communicated it is not a possibility.
fact checker February 19, 2014 at 03:08 PM
In fact, President Obama has advocated strongly for investing in infrastructure (which is what the CCC and other programs set up after the depression did). The economic crisis caused your sons, difficulty. The private sector (mostly large corporations( have not done their job to help the recovery. They worship profits for the few over better opportunities for the rest of us.
Nancy February 19, 2014 at 03:10 PM
Donna, I am surprised that you believe the job-finding problems are a result of our most-immediate president. Surely you must know that previous presidents (and congress) were instrumental in creating the legislation and lack of oversight that allowed jobs to be shipped abroad. And regarding the CCC: well now, you're sounding like a liberal...watch out! I think it would be fabulous to have a similar job force to work on our crumbling infrastructure. But you CAN'T do that if you cut government! The CCC didn't just spring up from volunteers; it was a government program. For the record, Obama has actually done a similar program. Have you noticed the freeway signs from the Obama administrations recovery act? This is both a job creator and a public safety win/win. http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/map21/summaryinfo.cfm

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