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Maya Angelou to speak at commencement 2002

Robin Kaler, assistant chancellor for public affairs
(217) 333-5010


11/9/2001

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Maya Angelou, an internationally acclaimed author and the recipient of numerous honors, will be the featured speaker during commencement ceremonies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on May 12, 2002.

The Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University, Angelou is the author of "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" (1970) and 10 other best-selling books, including, most recently, "Even the Stars Look Lonesome" (1997).

She is scheduled to speak at the 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. commencement ceremonies at Assembly Hall, 1800 S. First St., Champaign.

Her addresses will be the capstone of a series of academic and cultural events throughout the spring semester that will explore the human experience through coursework in a variety of disciplines; seminars built on the writer’s work; performances and symposia; and other events.

Angelou was the recipient of the Langston Hughes Award (1991), a distinguished merit citation from the National Conference of Christians and Jews (1997) and the International Civil and Human Rights Award (1998). She won a Grammy Award for best spoken word album (1994) and was named Essence magazine’s woman of the year (1992).

A poet, playwright, producer, director and civil-rights leader, Angelou is the author of "Gather Together in My Name" (1974), "The Heart of a Woman" (1981), "On the Pulse of Morning" (1993), "Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now" (1993) and "A Brave and Startling Truth" (1995).