President Barack Obama at The Ohio State University on March 22, 2012. The President spoke about American energy at OSU, home to some of the country's most advanced energy-related research and development. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS -- President Barack Obama will be the commencement speaker for The Ohio State University spring commencement, the third sitting U.S. President to do so.
The ceremony takes place at noon on Sunday, May 5, in Ohio Stadium.
"This is a historic occasion for the university, the city of Columbus, and our graduates and their families," said President E. Gordon Gee says in a press release. "We are honored to have President Obama address our graduates at the university's largest commencement ever. To be sure, this is a signal moment in the life of one of the most vibrant and vital universities in our nation."
George W. Bush spoke to spring quarter graduates in 2002 and Gerald Ford spoke to summer quarter graduates shortly after ascending to the presidency in 1974.
In addition, both George H. W. Bush and Walter Mondale spoke to graduates when they were vice president.
This will be President Obama's fifth visit to Ohio State in the last 16 months. Previous 2012 visits occurred in March, when he delivered a speech on alternative energy and energy independence; in May, when he officially kicked off his re-election campaign; in August, when he briefly visited the Ohio Union; and in October for a campaign rally on the Oval.
Ohio State has long been a significant destination for visits by politicians, CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, entertainers, authors, politicians and worldwide dignitaries, creating exceptional experiences for students. Over the last year, for example, in addition to President Obama, Ohio State has been host to Warren Buffet, Colin Powell, Geoffrey Canada, Brent Musburger, General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, artist Annie Leibovitz and author Rebecca Skloot.
Because the president is the commencement speaker, additional security measures will be in place. The university will require all guests to have a ticket. Each graduate may receive four tickets for their guests. Tickets are free, but graduates must present a photo ID to obtain tickets. Graduates do not need a ticket for commencement.
Approximately 12,000 students are expected to graduate, the largest class in university history.
Details on commencement ticketing will be made available closer to the May 5 ceremony. Please visit the commencement website where details will be updated as they become available.