WKYT - Richmond - Headlines

Security heightened as EKU prepares for the First Lady

By: Melissa Etezadi Email
By: Melissa Etezadi Email

RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) - It's a once in a lifetime opportunity, that graduating students at Eastern Kentucky University get to experience first hand.

First Lady, Michelle Obama, is one of the three commencement speakers at the university's graduation ceremony on Saturday.

The event, which starts at 7:30 PM on May 11th at Alumni Colosseum, is something the school and city have been spending months preparing for. "When we got the call that Michelle Obama wanted to talk at our graduation, we were stunned and very excited!" explains Marc Whitt, Public Relations for the university. "This is a historic event for this school and for everyone who is attending the event, we are very excited."

Security throughout the entire county has been increased. Local businesses as well as campus functions have extra patrols and security. "We know this is going to be an amazing event but at the same time we know this is a high profile event we need to make sure everyone who attends, including the First Lady, is safe."

Local officials are working hand-in-hand with the secret service, "we've had a handful of meetings and conversations about what the game plan will be," explains Whitt, "we also have new security measures in place as well. Usually, when people attend graduation at Alumni Colosseum, no one is searched and people can pretty much come and go as they please as long as they have the proper information and ticket," explains Whitt. "However, for this event everyone will be screened."

Mrs. Obama is expected to be one of the first speakers of the evening.

White House officials say the First Lady is expected to attend two other commencement ceremonies, one in Tennessee and one in Maryland.


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