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Novelist to speak at URI graduation

April 3, 2012
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SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I.—Veteran human rights attorney and novelist Marlen Suyapa (sue-YA'-pah) Bodden (BAH'-den) is scheduled to deliver the commencement address at the University of Rhode Island's graduation ceremony next month.

The university announced the choice Tuesday.

Bodden is an attorney with the Legal Aid Society in New York. She's also the author of The Wedding Gift, a historical novel about slavery set in the pre-Civil War south.

Bodden presented URI's annual Black History Month lecture in February.

URI President David Dooley called Bodden an inspiring speaker, advocate for the poor and mentor of students.

The university's undergraduate commencement ceremony is scheduled for May 20.

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