BOSTON (CBS/AP) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be the commencement speaker at Harvard University’s graduation, the school announced Friday.

The long-time leader of Germany will be the principal speaker at Harvard’s 368th commencement on May 30, 2019. She will also get an honorary degree.

Merkel has been chancellor since 2005. She is the longest-serving head of government in the European Union.

Angela Merkel. (Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images)

“Angela Merkel is one of the most widely admired and broadly influential statespeople of our time,” Harvard President Larry Bacow said in a statement. “Over her four terms as Germany’s chancellor, her leadership has done much to shape the course not only of her nation, but also of Europe and the larger world.”

Merkel was elected to her fourth term in 2017 but has said she won’t seek re-election when it expires in 2021.  She has received numerous awards, including the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011.

Harvard’s past commencement speakers include U.S. Rep. John Lewis and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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