- Associated Press - Monday, May 8, 2017

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - An ex-astronaut who served as head of NASA will be the speaker during the University of Arizona commencement Friday evening at Arizona Stadium in Tucson.

Charles Frank Bolden Jr. is a retired Marine Corps officer who ran NASA during nearly all of former President Barack Obama’s administration. He was the 12th administrator of NASA and the first African American to hold that position.

Bolden flew four space shuttle missions in the 1980s and 1990s. He is one of five people selected by the university to receive an honorary degree during the commencement.

Nearly 4,000 graduating undergraduate and graduate students are expected to attend the ceremony along with 40,000 guests.

The 90-minute ceremony begins at 7:30 p.m.

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