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updated: 5/17/2014 10:23 AM

Chilly day ahead for U. of Illinois graduates

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Associated Press

CHAMPAIGN -- The forecast for the University of Illinois' first outdoor commencement ceremony in about 40 years looks dry but chilly.

When the roughly 3,000 new graduates the university says it expects to attend commencement at Memorial Stadium take their seats Saturday, the temperature is expected to be about 50 degrees.

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University officials say the expected attendance is nonetheless higher than recent years because of the speaker.

Astronaut and University of Illinois alum Michael Hopkins will deliver the commencement address. Hopkins returned to Earth last month after months aboard the International Space Station.

The university is moving this spring's graduation outdoors because of construction at the State Farm Center. The arena usually hosts graduation ceremonies.

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