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UCI Wooing Obama for Commencement Address

School officials are hoping a video from one of the university's basketball players will be convincing.

UCI wants Pres. Obama to give this year's commencement address. Patch file photo.
UCI wants Pres. Obama to give this year's commencement address. Patch file photo.

UC Irvine is wooing President Barack Obama to give the school's 2014 commencement address, possibly at Angel Stadium, it was reported today.

School administrators think they've got a secret weapon in the person of Mamadou Ndiaye, the Orange County Register reported.

Standing 7-foot-6, the tallest collegiate basketball player in the nation -- a popular man on campus -- has given a video invite to Obama, a hoops fan who played on his high school varsity team in Hawaii in the 1970s.

A UC Irvine faculty member will fly to the Capitol in the next couple of weeks to hand deliver the video, which also shows the rest of UC Irvine's men's basketball team shooting hoops. Also slated to be carried into Obama's scheduler's office will be mailbags stuffed with postcards and letters from UCI students and alumni requesting the president's presence at the June 14 event.

Cathy Lawhon, spokeswoman for UC Irvine, told the Register that around 8,000 missives are in hand right now. The goal is to get 2,000 more before making the trip.

Traditionally, hundreds of colleges and universities invite the president to commencement. It's anyone's guess which one Obama will pick this year. Last year he gave the commencement address at Morehouse, an all-male historically black college in Atlanta. In 2012 it was Barnard College for women in New York.

--City News Service

fact checker February 18, 2014 at 08:06 PM
Actually Bob, most of them would have no insurance without ACA. This kind of disconnect is why so many conservatives are losing credibility.
Donna Fleming February 18, 2014 at 08:19 PM
Fact checker, Spoken like an educator who is out of touch with the real, "time to get a job and pay off that student loan", world. And, what shall I pay this month, my student loan or health insurance? Thank God mid wives still exist for those young women who cannot afford, the affordable health insurance.
GreenInOC February 18, 2014 at 10:49 PM
@Donna Fleming, women from ALL income groups choose midwives. A single 24-year-old, with no dependents living in Laguna Beach, making $50k a year, can choose plans ranging from $144/mo to $323/mo. Your version is though that they can't find a job so they wouldn't be making $50k, but let's say $25k. This brings the plans they can chose from between $89/mo to $$261/mo. @fact checker doesn't sound out of touch at all.
Donna Fleming February 18, 2014 at 11:06 PM
@Green but many of those college grads cannot find a job paying 50K a year. So, in reality they are having to make the choice pay my student loan or buy health insurance. This is real life. And, the mid wife option is not bad actually, a choice for some women. Two of my kids, college grads spent two years after graduation searching for a job. And, now they have a job, but one is an internship with $50.00 a week but includes dorm in DC area. And another son is at a pt job with no benefits and low income. It is tough out there for kids. Not kids anymore but huge student loans and that comes before health insurance.
GreenInOC February 18, 2014 at 11:18 PM
@Donna Fleming, looks like you didn't read the entire comment. I gave an example for $25k/yr based on your theory that people can't find jobs. A 24-year-old, living in Laguna Beach, with no dependents making $15,999/yr qualifies for Medi-Cal so there is ZERO choice to be made between health insurance and student loans. If either of your kids are 25 years + 361 days or younger, they can be on your health insurance plan, so again no choice between paying for loans or insurance. A single 24-year-old with no dependents living in DC, making $25k a year premiums are between $163/mo and $237/mo. This is real life.
Alberto Barrera February 18, 2014 at 11:28 PM
Everyone seems to forget that this president has the terrible habit of leaving the cities he visits with security overtime costs that he refuses to pay.
GreenInOC February 18, 2014 at 11:31 PM
@Alberto Barrera, yes because prior to Barack Obama there was not security provided to Presidents. He is the first to have a security detail right?
Alberto Barrera February 18, 2014 at 11:45 PM
@Green During the 2012 elections he went to several towns that were left with overtime costs that they couldn't afford. His campaign refused to reimburse the cities and counties. He may not be the first, but it is still inconsiderate to leave towns holding the bag.
GreenInOC February 18, 2014 at 11:49 PM
@Alberto Barrera, I'm sorry, I misunderstood your first comment.
GreenInOC February 18, 2014 at 11:52 PM
@Donna Fleming, so $18/mo is too expensive?! That's for someone making $16/k a year (same scenario as above). Perhaps they need to stop asking people and instead go to the websites and get quotes on their own because what you are stating isn't making any sense and if they are not going to the source to get their information perhaps that's the disconnect.
Donna Fleming February 18, 2014 at 11:54 PM
@Green..Sorry..I was 2nd group. If my adult children are 25+ they can get health insurance thru my plan.?? So suppose I had SS or medicare + supplemental, I don't think so. The rates they have been quoted is not affordable to them. And, 50.00 a week + dorm is 2600.00 a year (internship) training job, not 25,000 a year. And, he still has to pay his school loan, 25 years old.
GreenInOC February 18, 2014 at 11:54 PM
@Alberto Barrera, going back to your original comment... "Bad habit", how many times? Is this something that both sides of the aisle do or is it limited to the DNC?
Alberto Barrera February 19, 2014 at 12:08 AM
@greeninoc Newport was stuck with $35k in overtime costs and this town with $14k http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/08/21/connecticut-town-will-not-be-reimbursed-for-costs-related-to-obama-visit/
Donna Fleming February 19, 2014 at 12:09 AM
Green....Sorry, the whole thing does not make sense to me either. Two sons over 25, 2 years after graduation from university, 1 son took an internship. 50.00week+ dorm and airfare. 2600.00 a year. Still has to pay student loan. Can't be covered on a parent using the medicare system plus supplemental. And, 50.00 a week is not enough for groceries. Parents help. Second son working pt. no benefits. Paying the student loans comes first.
GreenInOC February 19, 2014 at 12:20 AM
@Donna Fleming, $2,600/year qualifies him for Medicaid so there's nothing not to be able to afford!
GreenInOC February 19, 2014 at 12:27 AM
Apparently President Bush visit to Hunts Point left $23,634 unpaid for security during a fundraising visit. "A spokesman for the Secret Service, in turn, said the organization does not reimburse local law-enforcement agencies. "We're just not budgeted for that. There's really nothing we can do," said Bob Kierstead, the assistant special agent in the Seattle office, who added that no local agencies have asked for a reimbursement for Obama's July visit." It sounds like it's a bureaucratic issue that is in place regardless of who is President. It certainly seems like something that should be addressed.
fact checker February 19, 2014 at 12:38 AM
Donna, what kind of medical insurance would have been available to them before ACA? It seems to me that the issue that really needs to be addressed is why so many college graduates are starting out life with astronomical student loans.
Donna Fleming February 19, 2014 at 12:41 AM
FChecker. The young idealistic kids foolishly thought that getting thru college with a degree in Math, BS Math and Minor in Computer science, would get them into the job market and allow them to pay off their loans. That was not the case. Your question is more foolish as you are old enough to know better. 19 year old kids going into college focus on school or they don't make it. Two years after college an no job, they were desperate. So, one took an internship 50.00 a week and Dorm in DC and other son a pt job. I have no doubt that my kids will survive this and pay off their student loans but they are not so idealistic now. Life 101. "Why did they apply for student loans they could not afford to pay?" That was a dumb thing to say for an adult.
fact checker February 19, 2014 at 02:27 AM
I amended my comment because, upon reflection, it had a tone that I did not intend. I don't know your children or you (and you do not know me). Getting personal isn't polite or productive. My point is that the issue of enormous student loans is a relatively new phenomenon and one that is burdening our college graduates at a time when they are least able to pay. Your children are victims of a mindset that college is worth whatever they are willing to go into debt to pay. I think this needs to be revisited.
Donna Fleming February 19, 2014 at 06:04 AM
Fact checker....Thank you. The last two years has been hell for my sons. They searched for jobs while living at home for 2 years. They did get caught in an incredible time where, what once was, now is not. High school counciling for "what will get you a job", would have been a great idea. (They attended JSerra, college prep) but prep for what? Also, the first two years of college should require a class on, "what do you want to be?" because half the kids do not know what they want to do and change majors in the first 2 years. Re: Med Ins., most companies used to provide medical insurance for career positions, this is what they were taught to expect. So, now they have three hurdles, finding a career job, paying off the student loans and hopefully getting some sort of med insurance. I apologize for my angry response. My kids worked so hard to get that degree and then lived at home for two years which was stressful.
Jean Q February 19, 2014 at 11:24 AM
Only one person could be a worse president than this one. http://www.nagsx.com/wddim.wmv
phil February 19, 2014 at 12:10 PM
the list of important, relevant, subjects that he WONT talk about is very, very long. Maybe he can spare us the horrors of the 'carbon footprint' related to his travel plans and simply download his blah-blah via the NSA directly to our cell phones? Remember when university elites HATED big brother?!?!?
fact checker February 19, 2014 at 12:16 PM
Donna, your son's woes were not caused by the President.
Donna Fleming February 19, 2014 at 12:31 PM
Disagree Fact Checker.... in part. Incentives to keep industry in this country, and help for the small businessman, would increase jobs in this country. We need to bring jobs back to our country. A perfect example is subbing the healthcare software out to a company in Canada. Very bad judgement.
GreenInOC February 19, 2014 at 12:34 PM
@Donna Fleming, yes let's ignore the steady exodus of labor that began in the 1960's and lay it at President Obama's feet. Come on.
ace February 19, 2014 at 01:30 PM
Does he really need another trip PAID for by the Taxpayers to play another round of golf in Taxifornia. Not to mention screwing up all the road/traffic with his out of control Secret service slaves. Govt Gone WILD. and it will end bad
Donna Fleming February 19, 2014 at 01:59 PM
@ Green...Were you there in the 60's 70's? NO I do not think so. I never had a problem finding a job during those years. I could pick and choose and leave one company for a better job with better benefits, and salary increase. Recruits looked for you. Private sector, aerospace and government, jobs were plentiful. Obama's campaign pledge hope and change, could have worked if he had cut government spending and re-establised something like the CCC's. No this is not Capistrano Common Sense. It was the Civil Conservation Corp and it put people to work within in 6 weeks of Roosevelt taking the oath. My dad worked for the CCC's and it was a Godsend for out of work people. That would have been true leadership.
GreenInOC February 19, 2014 at 02:22 PM
@Donna Fleming, I hope you aren't saying that researching, reading and understanding history beyond our own personal experiences is invalid. Jobs WERE plentiful. Manufacturing started moving overseas and continued to do so. In the late '90's and the early 00's is when white collar jobs started following suit. While your desire to blame President Obama for that is well communicated it is not a possibility.
fact checker February 19, 2014 at 03:08 PM
In fact, President Obama has advocated strongly for investing in infrastructure (which is what the CCC and other programs set up after the depression did). The economic crisis caused your sons, difficulty. The private sector (mostly large corporations( have not done their job to help the recovery. They worship profits for the few over better opportunities for the rest of us.
Nancy February 19, 2014 at 03:10 PM
Donna, I am surprised that you believe the job-finding problems are a result of our most-immediate president. Surely you must know that previous presidents (and congress) were instrumental in creating the legislation and lack of oversight that allowed jobs to be shipped abroad. And regarding the CCC: well now, you're sounding like a liberal...watch out! I think it would be fabulous to have a similar job force to work on our crumbling infrastructure. But you CAN'T do that if you cut government! The CCC didn't just spring up from volunteers; it was a government program. For the record, Obama has actually done a similar program. Have you noticed the freeway signs from the Obama administrations recovery act? This is both a job creator and a public safety win/win. http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/map21/summaryinfo.cfm

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