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March 10, 2009

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley will give the valedictory address at her alma mater, the University of Virginia, on May 16. The address closes the Valedictory Exercises held annually for the graduating class, their families and friends on U.Va.’s historic Lawn. The event features several awards and kicks off the University’s Finals Weekend.

Staley, who just completed her first season at South Carolina, was honored by the U.Va. Women’s Center in 2006 with the Center’s Distinguished Alumna Award, which honors a female graduate of the University of Virginia who has demonstrated excellence, leadership and extraordinary commitment to her field and who has used her talents as a positive force for change. Staley missed that ceremony in May 2006 due to her obligations with USA Basketball.

“Of all my lifetime experiences, my time at the University of Virginia remains the most life-defining,” Staley said when told of receiving the honor. “I am forever grateful to U.Va. for exposing me to difference, providing the foundation for my quest for knowledge and helping to shape and channel my competitiveness, all of which have ultimately defined me in terms of how I see and participate in the world.

“I am proud to have been associated with such a fine institution, and I can only hope that I have brought some pride to the university that I love.”