Astronaut to speak at U. of Illinois commencement

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- Astronaut and University of Illinois graduate Michael Hopkins will deliver the commencement address at his alma mater's spring graduation next month.

 

Hopkins recently returned from a 166-day stay aboard the International Space Station. He says in a statement released by the university that he'll be every bit as nervous delivering his speech as he was for his first walk in space.

 

Hopkins graduated from Illinois in 1991 with a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering. He was also a member of the school's football team.

 

The Richland, Mo., native was accepted into NASA's astronaut training program in 2011 after trying without success for almost 12 years.

 

The spring commencement ceremony will be May 17 in Memorial Stadium in Champaign.

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