Arnold Schwarzenegger named 2017 UH commencement speaker; waives $40K speaking fee

By Amanda Cochran - Social Media Producer
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Arnold Schwarzenegger speaks during the 2016 Arnold Classic on March 19, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia.

HOUSTON - The University of Houston’s commencement speaker for 2017 has some experience telling people goodbye.

UH announced Arnold Schwarzenegger will be the 2017 commencement speaker, tweeting in glorious fashion: "The Terminator. The Governor. The Philanthropist. Our 2017 commencement speaker. @Schwarzenegger.Hasta la vista, Coogs. May 12."

The commencement will begin at 10 a.m. May 12 at TDECU Stadium.

Schwarzenegger has previously given commencement speeches at Emory University and the University of Southern California.

“He is an accomplished and well-known actor and politician,” Paula Myrick Short, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at UH, told regents for the UH System as she reported on commencement plans. “He has worked with leaders of both major political parties as governor in addressing some of the challenges that California has faced, and since leaving office, he has continued to promote state and local clean-energy efforts.”

The contract called for UH to pay Schwarzenegger $40,000 for his attendance and travel fees, however the university announced Thursday that he will waive the fee.

"Gov. Schwarzenegger wasn't aware that a fee was arranged by his representatives to deliver this commencement address, and he has never asked for a speaking fee to speak to students. He has asked his representatives to waive the fee, and he looks forward to his visit," said Daniel Ketchell, spokesman for Gov. Schwarzenegger.

In comparison, Matthew McConaughey was paid $135,000 to speak at UH's 2015 graduation.

Schwarzenegger has previously addressed graduates at Emory University and the University of Southern California.


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