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Astronaut To Address UMass Graduates

Graduates of the University of Massachusetts will get an unusual commencement address this spring.

The Amherst school's roughly 4,300 graduates will hear a videotaped speech on May 13 from astronaut Catherine Coleman who is currently on board the International Space Station. A university spokesman says time differences made a live speech almost impossible to set up.

Coleman earned her doctorate in polymer science and engineering from UMass and still lives in the Amherst area with her husband and daughter. The retired U.S. Air Force colonel earned her bachelor's degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

David Gergen, an aide to four presidents, will receive an honorary doctorate at the undergraduate ceremony, while alumni Jerome Paros and Kenneth Brayman are scheduled to receive Distinguished Achievement Awards.

This program aired on April 28, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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