“Health reasons” force change in Notre Dame commencement speaker - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

“Health reasons” force change in Notre Dame commencement speaker

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Notre Dame announced a change Thursday to the planned speaker at commencement.  The university says Christopher Patten, the chancellor of Oxford and chair of the BBC Trust, let them know this week that he is withdrawing from several engagements for health reasons.

“We are disappointed that Lord Patten will be unable to join us and will keep him in our prayers,” Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins said in a written statement.

Notre Dame says Rev. Dr. Ray Hammond will now deliver the principal address. Hammond, the founder of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Boston, was to receive an honorary degree at the ceremony.

Hammond got his bachelor’s from Harvard at 19 and his medical degree from Harvard Medical School at 23. After a career in medicine, he entered the ministry in 1976, founding Bethel A.M.E. With his wife in their dining room in 1988.

Notre Dame's 169th University Commencement Ceremony is scheduled to take place Sunday, May 18.

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