First Lady Michelle Obama is to address Bowie State University’s 2013 graduating class on May 17. She will deliver the commencement address for the nearly 600 degree recipients and will be awarded an honorary doctor of law degree.

The 2013 graduation ceremony, a ticketed event to be held at Comcast Center on the University of Maryland’s College Park campus, will mark the first lady’s first Bowie speaking engagement. President Obama has visited the Bowie campus twice, once as a senator in 2006 and then as president in 2010.

In a statement, Bowie State University President Mickey L. Burnim said, “It is an extraordinary honor for Bowie State University and the class of 2013 to welcome First Lady Michelle Obama as an honored guest at our Spring Commencement ceremony.” Burnim says, “She is an outstanding role model who will add even greater significance to this celebration of achievement for our graduates and their families.”

The White House also announced that the first lady will be the commencement speaker at Eastern Kentucky University, in Richmond, Ky. on May 11 and at Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Magnet School, in Nashville, Tenn. on May 18.

Bowie State University is celebrating their 148th anniversary this year and is Maryland’s oldest historically black higher education institution and one of the oldest in the nation.