The actor Chadwick Boseman, pictured in December 2017, is scheduled to serve as Howard’s commencement speaker. (Danny Moloshok/Reuters)

Actor Chadwick Boseman, star of the blockbuster film “Black Panther,” has been selected to deliver the keynote address at Howard University’s commencement ceremony this spring, the school’s president announced Wednesday.

Boseman, a graduate of Howard, is also expected to receive an honorary degree, the university said in a news release. The commencement ceremony for Howard, a historically black university in Northwest Washington, is scheduled for May 12.

“I’m excited to return to the Mecca in celebration of the achievements of our illustrious students,” Boseman said in the release. “Let’s listen, learn and build with one another.”

In a statement, Howard’s president, Wayne A.I. Frederick, said it was an honor for the school to welcome Boseman back for the commencement, and took note of his other roles, which have included portraying Jackie Robinson, James Brown and Thurgood Marshall.

Boseman’s role in “Black Panther” served as a reminder of the “excellence found in the African diaspora and how places like Howard are hidden, untapped gems producing the next generation of scientists, engineers and doctors,” Frederick said.

He continued: “Mr. Boseman exemplifies the monumental heights and levels Howard graduates can achieve by using the skills and knowledge they acquired at the university.”

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