Jill Abramson has been bumped as Barnard's commencement speaker in favor of President Obama.
On Saturday, the college announced that Obama will deliver the college's commencement address on May 14. Abramson, who became the first female executive editor of the New York Times in September, had been scheduled to speak. The Hill reports that the White House recently contacted the college and offered to have Obama do the honors.
A statement issued by Barnard said that Abramson "has noted that she is happy to speak at Barnard at a later date." The school had announced that she would be the commencement speaker last month. College president Debora L. Spar had praised the decision at the time.
"We have so many reasons to value Ms. Abramson’s place in history as the first woman to appear at the top of The New York Times masthead,” Spar had said. "From her early days as a reporter to her current post as the paper’s executive editor, she has been unfailing in her convictions and a true inspiration. I am certain that our graduates will be energized by her words and personal story."