J. K. Rowling To Speak at Commencement

Harry Potter never returned to Hogwarts for his seventh and final year, so J. K. Rowling never got to write a graduation speech for her magical protagonist.

The author of the mega-bestseller "Harry Potter" series will get a chance to make up for that in June, when she delivers the keynote address at Harvard's Commencement exercises, the University announced Thursday morning.

"Perhaps no one in our time has done more than J. K. Rowling to inspire young people to experience the excitement and the sheer joy of reading," said University President Drew G. Faust in the statement.

The "Harry Potter" books have sold more than 375 million copies since the first volume, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," was released in 1997, according to a University statement. The seven installments have been translated into 65 languages and are available in more than 200 countries.

The University will also grant Rowling— a native of Great Britain whose net worth has been estimated at over $1 billion—an honorary degree at the June 5 ceremony.

Harvard is no stranger to Harry Potter mania.

Last July, on the eve of the release of the seventh and final book, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," dozens of restaurants and stores in Harvard Square stayed open late and posted Harry Potter-themed specials, Tercentenary Theater hosted a three-hour concert that featured the musical stylings of Harry and the Potters, and hundreds of Harry Potter fans, many in wizard costumes, lined up outside the Coop to purchase a copy at the stroke of midnight.


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