Michelle Obama to speak at three graduation ceremonies this spring

The White House announced Tuesday that first lady Michelle Obama will give three commencement addresses this spring, two at Washington area schools, and one in Arkansas.

The first speech, on May 8, will be at the University of Arkansas's Pine Bluff campus, a historically black college of 3,500 students in the state's underserved Delta region. The choice of Arkansas may have political implications, as well. Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) is running one of the most challenging reelection campaigns in the country this year.

Later in the month, and closer to home, Obama will address the graduating class of George Washington University, the first D.C.-area university graduation she has participated in as First Lady. But there's a catch: Obama's appearance is contingent upon the faculty and students completing a total of 100,000 hours of community service this past school year, a challenge she issued to the private college in September.

The first lady's only high school graduation speech this year will be June 11 at Anacostia Senior High School. Hopefully the promise of her appearance will help motivate students who might not otherwise make it to graduation: Anacostia Senior High had a 57 percent graduation rate in 2009, the lowest of any high school in Washingto