The university had previously picked Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) to address the more than 5,000 students who are expected to receive diplomas on May 11 at Lane Stadium. Now Warner will share the stage with the first lady.
The first lady is one of the most prominent speakers to agree to speak at Va. Tech’s graduation. Past speakers have included a number of Virginia lawmakers, “Today” show personality Hoda Kotb in 2008, and astronaut Neil Armstrong in 1986. (The university has a timeline of its commencement speakers, dating back to 1873.)
Obama is also scheduled to speak to graduates of North Carolina A&T University on May 12 and Oregon State University (where her brother, Craig Robinson, is the basketball coach) on June 17.
Last year, the first lady spoke to graduates at Spelman College in Georgia, University of Northern Iowa and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in New York. Two years ago, Obama addressed George Washington University graduates at a ceremony on the National Mall after students fulfilled a promise to complete 100,000 hours of community service.
President Obama will also hit the commencement circuit this spring, with appearances booked at Barnard College in New York City on May 14, Joplin High School in Missouri on May 21, and the Air Force Academy in Colorado on May 23.