Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire Medford native whose recent moves have sparked rumors of a possible run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, will deliver the commencement address at MIT in June.
The school confirmed the news in a statement. Commencement exercises are slated for June 7.
“Michael Bloomberg has shown extraordinary leadership in many areas that matter deeply to our community — from climate action to educational access to human health to the arts,” said MIT President L. Rafael Reif in the release. “Although perhaps most associated with the City of New York, Mr. Bloomberg is Boston-born and Medford-raised. We look forward to welcoming him home to deliver what I know will be an inspiring charge to the Class of 2019.”
The statement also included a quote from Bloomberg, who was a Republican when he won the Gotham mayoral election in 2001 and later became an independent before recently reregistering as a Democrat.
“I’m honored to accept MIT’s invitation to address the Class of 2019,” Bloomberg said in the release. “Generations of MIT graduates have changed the world for the better, in every field. And as an engineer who started a tech company in the early days of the computer age, I’m looking forward to addressing this year’s graduates as they begin their journeys.”
Alexa Martin, the school’s Undergraduate Association president, said she looks forward to hearing the former mayor and gun control advocate who’s also become a leading voice on climate change issues.
“We are extremely excited to have Michael Bloomberg join us at the MIT 2019 Commencement,” Martin said in the release. “He has had global impact on environmental challenges, and has been a vocal advocate for public health initiatives and solutions for the improvement of education. Mr. Bloomberg’s entrepreneurial leadership and global activism will inspire our graduates as they seek to change the world.”
Bloomberg could change the political landscape if he decides to throw his hat in the ring for the Democratic nomination for the White House in 2020.
In October he visited New Hampshire, home of the first-in-the-nation primary, to headline a get-out-the-vote rally for six state legislature candidates. The event was organized by Moms Demand Action, an arm of Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety group.
Asked about a possible bid for the White House, Bloomberg said at the time, ‘‘right now I’m focused on Nov. 6, plain and simple.’’
He may have to tangle with a number of Massachusetts Democrats in a crowded primary field if he decides to enter the race. Likely or rumored candidates from the Bay State include Senator Elizabeth Warren, Congressmen Seth Moulton and Joe Kennedy III, and former Secretary of State John Kerry.Material from the Associated Press and New York Times was used in this report. Travis Andersen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.