Ellen DeGeneres To Be Primary Speaker At Tulane Graduation

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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