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Germany's Merkel to deliver Harvard commencement address

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be the commencement speaker at graduation ceremonies for Harvard University in May of next year, the university announced on Friday.

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Merkel will be the principal speaker at Harvard's 368th commencement on May 30, 2019 play

Merkel will be the principal speaker at Harvard's 368th commencement on May 30, 2019

(AFP/File)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be the commencement speaker at graduation ceremonies for Harvard University in May of next year, the university announced on Friday.

"Angela Merkel is one of the most widely admired and broadly influential statespeople of our time," Harvard president Larry Bacow told The Harvard Gazette.

"Over her four terms as Germany's chancellor, her leadership has done much to shape the course not only of her nation, but also of Europe and the larger world," Bacow said.

"She continues to play a central role in confronting some of the great challenges of our era, and I very much look forward to welcoming her to Harvard next May and to hearing what is sure to be a memorable address," he said.

Merkel will be the principal speaker at Harvard's 368th commencement on May 30, 2019.

Merkel, 64, has been in power since 2005 and is not expected to step down until 2021. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, a close Merkel ally, won a tight race on Friday to succeed her as party leader.

Previous Harvard commencement speakers include Kofi Annan, Oprah Winfrey, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and three former German chancellors -- Helmut Kohl, Helmut Schmidt and Konrad Adenauer.

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