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Smart ’99 to speak at graduation

Smart ’99 to speak at graduation

VCU portraits, September 17, 2010. ©2010 Scott K Brown Photography, inc.

Get ready to get Smart. The College announced Saturday night at Senior Soirée that University of Texas basketball coach Shaka Smart ’99 will deliver the Class of 2017’s commencement address. Smart gained national recognition for Virginia Commonwealth University to the Final Four of the NCAA men’s March Madness basketball tournament during the 2011 season. The decision was announced by Senior Class President Sam Clougher, who sat on a committee of faculty, staff and students that sent the recommendation for commencement speaker to President Sean Decatur.

Professor of American Studies Peter Rutkoff was Smart’s faculty advisor at Kenyon and remained friends with him after his graduation. “He’s a really good teacher,” Rutkoff said. “If you see him on the sidelines — I don’t know how anybody coaches basketball because it’s so complicated — but he’s so completely present.”

“There’s not one second that goes by that he’s not completely involved in,” Rutkoff added. “He’s as involved with the game as he is with the kids.”

Smart was not immediately available for comment.

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