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Denzel Washington Will Be Commencement Speaker At University of Pennsylvania

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(Denzel Washington portrayed a lawyer representing an AIDS patient in the legal drama, "Philadelphia.")

(Denzel Washington portrayed a lawyer representing an AIDS patient in the legal drama, “Philadelphia.”)

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - The University of Pennsylvania has announced its spring commencement speaker. He’s the parent of a Penn student and a two-time Oscar winner.

Actor Denzel Washington will give the commencement address at Penn’s ceremony on May 16th. He will also receive an honorary degree.

“We chose Mr. Washington as speaker with the input of a number of students on campus, faculty, and others,” says Leslie Kruhly, secretary of the university. “Ultimately, it’s a trustees’ decision with the president’s approval. For the last several years, we had a number of leaders of political life speak, and we are happy to move to the arts and Mr. Washington this year.”

Kruhly says Denzel Washington’s work in film is not the only reason he was selected. His civic engagement with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America is also being applauded.

Washington won a best supporting actor Oscar for Glory and a best actor award for Training Day.

Denzel Washington’s son, Malcolm, is a sophomore at the Ivy League school.

Reported by John McDevitt, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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