Oscar winner Forest Whitaker to address Miami graduates May 17

OXFORD, OH (FOX19) - Oscar-winning actor Forest Whitaker will be the commencement speaker at Miami University's spring ceremony, 1:30 p.m. Saturday, May 17, at Yager Stadium.

No stranger to playing characters based on real people, Whitaker took on the role of butler Cecil Gaines in "Lee Daniels' The Butler."

The 2013 film was inspired by the true story of Eugene Allen, an African-American man who witnessed the civil rights changes in America while serving eight presidential administrations at the White House.

The movie is based on an article written by Washington Post writer Wil Haygood (Miami '76), who gave Miami's commencement address last spring.

"As an actor and a humanitarian, Forest Whitaker reflects the energy and the values that define Miami.  We are excited to have him share his experience and vision with our graduating class," Miami President David Hodge said.

The humanitarian has worked to raise awareness about youth and violence, particularly the plight of child soldiers through his work with "Hope North Uganda," an organization that offers safe haven for refugees, orphans and former child soldiers.

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