Ellen DeGeneres To Be Primary Speaker At Tulane Graduation

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Ellen DeGeneres is about to become the big woman on campus.

The TV talker will be the principal speaker at Tulane University's commencement ceremonies on May 16, The Times-Picayune in New Orleans reported.

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"I am thrilled to be the keynote speaker for Tulane University's 2009 commencement," Ellen said in a statement.

This will mark a return to the speaker's podium at Tulane for Ellen – a New Orleans native. She was a surprise guest towards the end of the school's graduation ceremony in May 2006 – the university's first post-Hurricane Katrina commencement.

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Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton were the primary speakers.

Making an entrance as only she can, Ellen hit the stage in a white bathrobe because, as she deadpanned, she had heard everyone would be wearing a robe.

"Ellen brought the house down," Tulane President Scott Cowen told The Times-Picayune. "We've wanted to get her back ever since and are thrilled that she said, 'Yes.'"

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When she returns to campus in May, she'll be given the Tulane University President's Medal, an honor given in recognition of service to "the well-being of Tulane University or the city of New Orleans," according to a Tulane statement.

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