UVa Names Katie Couric 2012 Commencement Speaker

December 6, 2011

Award-winning journalist and TV personality, well-known cancer advocate and New York Times best-selling author Katie Couric, who graduated from the University of Virginia in 1979, will deliver the commencement address at the University's 183rd Final Exercises on May 20.

Also, the trustees of the Class of 2012 announced that Val Ackerman, a 1981 alumna and Cavalier basketball star who became the founding president of the Women's National Basketball Association, will speak at Valedictory Exercises on May 19.

"Katie Couric and Val Ackerman are two of our most accomplished alumnae," UVa. President Teresa A. Sullivan said. "They have excelled in their careers and, in so doing, produced admiration and pride within our University community. Our students and their families will certainly enjoy hearing from these two women and learning from their perspectives."

Couric is an honors graduate of UVa.'s College of Arts & Sciences in English with a concentration in American Studies. "Although I've delivered quite a few commencement addresses, I consider it a special honor to be invited by UVa. to speak at Final Exercises," she said. "My walk down the Lawn was such a memorable day for me, and I can't wait to share the experience with the class of 2012."

Ackerman was a four-year starter and three-time captain for the women's basketball team at UVa. She graduated in 1981 with a degree from the College in interdisciplinary studies. In 1996, she was named president of the new Women's National Basketball Association, oversaw its launch in 1997 and ran the day-to-day operations for eight seasons.

"I'm honored to be invited and excited to be part of the festivities," she said.

To find out more about the 183rd Final Exercises, click here.

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