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College graduations get under way

Thousands of soon-to-be college graduates are gearing up to storm the stages and pick up their diplomas at ceremonies across Kentucky this month.

On hand to offer words of wisdom at the events will be several big names, including: actress Ashley Judd and author Silas House at Union College; TV and film producers Linda and Jerry Bruckheimer at Centre College; author and poet Wendell Berry at Northern Kentucky University; and former U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona at Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine.

The class sizes of students receiving degrees over the next month ranges from 102 at St. Catharine College to more than 5,900 at the University of Kentucky.

UK's May 9 commencement ceremony is slated for 2 p.m. and will come amid a series of recognition ceremonies for each college.

At UK's main commencement ceremony, William English Kirwan, the third chancellor of the University System of Maryland, will give the commencement address. He is the son of former UK president Albert D. Kirwan.

William Kirwan will receive an honorary degree, along with veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas and engineer Mark E. Davis, who is a UK grad and a professor of chemical engineering at the California Institute of Technology.

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