(WASHINGTON) — President Obama will deliver the commencement address at the first high school graduation in Joplin, Mo., since a tornado nearly obliterated the town one year ago, killing 160 people.
Obama will travel to the still-recovering region to speak at Joplin High School on May 21, immediately after the G8 and NATO summits in Chicago, White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer announced Monday via Twitter.
In the aftermath of last year’s storms, Obama flew to Joplin to tour the devastation and attend a memorial service, where he promised residents, “your country will be there with you every single step of the way.”
News of Obama’s planned return comes as the region was rocked by another string of unseasonably dangerous storms late last week and a weekend that left at least 39 dead across five states, just east of Missouri.
Obama will also deliver the commencement address at Barnard College in New York City on May 4, the school announced this weekend.
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Elise Labott, Kevin Liptak and Patrick Oppmann, CNN
Emanuella Grinberg, CNN
Jackie Wattles, CNN