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Meryl Streep to give Barnard College commencement address

February 19, 2010 |  8:26 am

Meryl Actress Meryl Streep will give the 2010 keynote commencement address at Barnard College in New York City and will receive the college's Medal of Distinction. 

“She is known for the perfection of her craft and for her painstaking preparation in each role she has undertaken," Barnard President Debora L. Spar said in a message to students. "And, outside of acting, she has used her brilliant voice to support the arts, international human rights and the environment, as well as health issues of great importance to women and families including cancer, child health and AIDS.”

By the time the May 17 ceremony rolls around, Streep will have run through an awards season that's seen her nominated for an Academy Award (her 16th Oscar nomination), a SAG Award and a BAFTA statue. She just won a Golden Globe for her performance in "Julie and Julia," and tied Sandra Bullock for a Critics' Choice Award.

Streep got her bachelor's degree in 1971 at Vassar College, another one of the so-called Seven Sisters schools, and earned a master of fine arts at the Ivy League's Yale University. Her award nominations this year are for her portrayal of Julia Child, a graduate of Smith College, another of the Seven Sisters.

Last year's commencement speaker? Hillary Rodham Clinton, the U.S. secretary of State.

About 5,000 people are expected to attend this year.

-- Christie D'Zurilla 

Photo: Meryl Streep arrives at the 82nd annual Academy Awards Nominee Luncheon at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Feb. 15. Credit: Gabriel Bouys / AFP/Getty Images

Related dispatches from the Ministry of Gossip:

Critics' Choice Awards: The ladies host, win and smooch

Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin will co-host the Oscars

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