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President Clinton to make speech, receive award at U of M

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Former President Bill Clinton is coming to the Twin Cities this summer.

Clinton plans to speak June 9 about civil rights as part of the University of Minnesota's series to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the U of M said in a news release.

He will also be given the Dean's Award for Public Leadership by the U of M's Humphrey School of Public Affairs. The award, named after Hubert H. Humphrey, honors people who have contributed to the common good through leadership and service.

“We are delighted to present this award to President Clinton, who has often spoken about how his political identity was largely forged during the civil rights struggles of the 1960s,” Eric Schwartz, dean of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, said in the release.

Schwartz says Clinton has talked about his love and admiration for Humphrey, crediting him for helping change the course of America through his civil rights work. Clinton also helped dedicate a memorial statue in Humphrey's honor on the Capitol Mall in St. Paul in August 2012.

Clinton returned to Minnesota a few months later to campaign for President Barack Obama. His wife, Hillary, has traveled to the state more recently. Last fall, she spoke at Beth El Synagogue in St. Louis Park as part of its national speaker series.

The Clintons have made headlines in recent weeks after Republican strategist Karl Rove suggested Hillary Clinton may have suffered "traumatic brain injury" after a fall in 2012. Bill Clinton spoke out saying his wife's health is now great and blasted Rove for implying that Hillary Clinton was damaged goods, CNN reports. Bill Clinton was also in the headlines last week after Monica Lewinsky wrote about her affair with the former president in Vanity Fair magazine.

Bill Clinton's June event will be held at the Northrop Auditorium. The public can buy tickets to the event starting Tuesday. Proceeds will go to support public affairs scholarships, the university says.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also spoke as part of the U of M's series. Activists protested her speech last month, citing her involvement in the wartime presidency of George W. Bush, and the fact that she was speaking about human rights.

At an event later in June, the Humphrey School will present additional Public Leadership Awards during its annual gala. Recipients include: Vernon Jordan Jr., former president of the National Urban League; Senator Howard Baker; Chandra Smith Baker, president and CEO of Pillsbury United Communities in Minneapolis; and General Mills.

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