Harris Commencement:

Indian American U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., will give the commencement speech for the 2018 graduating class at U.C. Berkeley. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images photo)

U.C. Berkeley announced March 13 that U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., will give the commencement speech to the 2018 graduating class.

This will be the first time Harris, a graduate of Howard University and U.C. Hastings College of the Law, has spoken at a U.C. Berkeley commencement ceremony, the university said.

The commencement, which will have somewhere near 40,000 graduates and their guests, is May 12.

“My parents met at U.C. Berkeley when they were active in the civil rights movement, so this university will always mean a great deal to me,” Harris said in the news release. “I look forward to speaking to these young people who are on the verge of the next chapter of their lives and represent the future of our country,” the Indian American senator added.

Harris was nominated to give the speech by the Californians, a group of U.C. Berkeley students responsible for planning parts of the commencement exercises.

The 53-year-old Harris, who was elected convincingly to her Senate post in 2016, has stood out in the last year as a fierce defender of California and its people, and is widely considered to be a future presidential candidate, according to the university news release.

The former San Francisco district attorney and California attorney general currently serves on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on the Budget.

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