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    Neil deGrasse Tyson to speak at UMass Amherst commencement

    Neil deGrasse Tyson.
    Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
    Neil deGrasse Tyson.

    UMass Amherst has selected astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson to speak at its spring commencement, the college announced Tuesday.

    Tyson directs the Hayden Planetarium in New York City and is the host and executive editor for “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey,” a sequel to Carl Sagan’s iconic television series.

    “Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of those rare individuals who can understand and expand knowledge gained through rigorous scientific inquiry and communicate that knowledge to the public,” UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy said in a statement. “He is the perfect bridge between academia, with its focus on research and teaching, and the evolving world of modern communication that is knitting the world together at an unprecedented pace.”

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    Commencement is scheduled for Friday, May 8 in McGuirk Alumni Stadium.

    Rebecca Fiore can be reached at rebecca.fiore@globe.com.