- Associated Press - Friday, May 5, 2017

URBANA, Ill. (AP) - This year’s University of Illinois commencement has become a big draw.

Officials say students have already picked up more than 33,000 tickets for the May 13 graduation ceremony at Memorial Stadium. The keynote speaker is actor and humorist Nick Offerman.

Students rushed to get tickets for commencement when the university’s invitation to former President Barack Obama was pending.

The News-Gazette in Champaign reports (https://bit.ly/2pMdYbq ) last year Illinois distributed about 25,000 tickets for speaker Jeff Huber. He’s an Illinois alumnus and former Google executive who heads the startup Grail.

Illinois special events director Laura Wilhelm-Barr says it’s unlikely all ticket holders will show up. She says about 65 percent of the tickets distributed usually end up being used.

Wilhelm-Barr said the biggest commencement crowd may have been Hillary Clinton in 1994.

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Information from: The News-Gazette, https://www.news-gazette.com

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