Neil deGrasse Tyson selected as UMass commencement speaker

About 5,500 to graduate in Amherst ceremony

Neil deGrasse Tyson speaks on stage at the National Geographic Channel 2015 Winter TCA on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015, in Pasadena, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

AMHERST, Mass. (AP) — Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has been selected as the feature speaker at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst‘s commencement.

Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City, and executive editor and host of the television series “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey,” is scheduled to address about 5,500 students receiving undergraduate degrees at the May 8 ceremony.

UMass Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy, himself a physicist, said Tyson is an outstanding choice to address graduates, saying Tyson “is one of those rare individuals who can understand and expand knowledge gained through rigorous scientific inquiry and communicate that knowledge to the public.”

Tyson, a New York City native, is a researcher, author, television host and has served on two government science commissions.

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