National political commentators (and husband and wife) James Carville and Mary Matalin will deliver the keynote address at Tulane University"s Unified Commencement on May 17 at 9 a.m. This year marks the return of Tulane"s commencement to the Louisiana Superdome for the first time since Hurricane Katrina. The event is expected to draw more than 12,000 family, friends and members of the university community to celebrate the academic achievements of more than 2,100 graduates.
This year"s commencement will include all the pomp and circumstance of a traditional commencement with a New Orleans twist, featuring bagpipes, herald trumpets, confetti cannons, balloon drops, a second-line jazz procession and Mardi Gras Indians. Among the graduates are an 81- year-old who is earning his Master"s of Business Administration; two undergraduates who are being honored for their dedication to public service in New Orleans; and a group of nine who will finally receive their Master"s of Fine Arts degree after a delay caused by Katrina.
Often referred to as the country"s political odd couple, Carville is the Louisiana-born CNN commentator who served as manager for President Bill Clinton"s 1992 campaign. Matalin is the former host of CNN"s Crossfire and co-host of CNBC"s Equal Time. She held senior positions in President George H. W. Bush"s 1988 campaign and also served as assistant to President George W. Bush and counselor to Vice President Dick Cheney.
As keynote speakers for Commencement, the couple will join a distinguished group of national leaders who have addressed Tulane graduates over the years. Past speakers have included NBC news anchor Brian Williams (2007) and presidents George H. W. Bush and Clinton (2006).