Former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs to speak at Auburn commencement

AUBURN – Robert Gibbs, a longtime advisor and strategist to President Barack Obama and former White House press secretary, will deliver the commencement address to Auburn University graduates at the spring ceremony May 9.

Auburn will award an estimated 3,139 degrees during the 9:30 a.m. ceremony, which will mark the first commencement exercises to take place in Jordan-Hare Stadium since 1968. A live video stream of the event will be available on the university’s website at

An Auburn native, Gibbs graduated from Auburn High School in 1989 and North Carolina State University in 1993.

“I couldn’t be happier to give something back by speaking to Auburn’s 2011 graduating class, who enter an exciting world at an exciting time,” said Gibbs. “To me, Auburn University is the heart of the community I was born and raised in and where I will always call home.”

Gibbs has been an advisor and strategist to President Obama from the early days of Obama’s 2004 Senate race to his election to the White House. Most recently, Gibbs has served as the president’s press secretary, presiding over daily press briefings at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Gibbs joined Obama’s 2004 U.S. Senate campaign as communications director in mid-April 2004 and held the same title at the onset of the 2008 presidential campaign until becoming senior strategist for communications and message during the general election. During the four years of intense campaigning and close contact, Gibbs became an integral part of President Obama’s team.

According to the New York Times, Gibbs advised President Obama on politics, strategy and messaging and spent more time with him than any other advisor. Gibbs held the role as the press secretary of the Obama administration from Jan. 20, 2009, until stepping down Feb. 11, 2011.

For more information regarding the commencement ceremony, including a parking map, stadium layout and frequently asked questions, visit

Contact: Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (, or
Charles Martin, (334) 844-9999 (