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Author James Patterson to speak at UW-Madison's 2020 spring commencement

Author James Patterson to speak at UW-Madison's 2020 spring commencement

UW-Madison Commencement (copy)

UW-Madison graduates are recognized during the spring 2019 commencement ceremony.

The world’s best-selling author of the past 20 years is coming to Camp Randall for UW-Madison’s 2020 spring commencement.

James Patterson


James Patterson will address the graduates on May 9 as the spring commencement keynote speaker, according to a university announcement Wednesday. He will be joined by alumni speaker John Felder.

Patterson has 96 No. 1 titles on the New York Times Best Sellers List. He also made it to the Guinness Book of World Records as the first author to sell one million e-books.

Along with his wife, Susan, who has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in art from UW-Madison, Patterson has become an advocate for college affordability and youth literacy. The Pattersons provide financial support to more than 150 students annually through various scholarship funds.

John Felder


Felder, a retired union administrator, was one of the primary organizers of the Black Student Strike at UW-Madison in 1969. The spring ceremony will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Department of Afro-American Studies, which was established as a result of the two-week strike involving black students and thousands of their allies.


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