MSU Names Motown Founder Graduation Speaker

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Motown founder Berry Gordy will speak at Michigan State University's undergraduate convocation, the school announced Thursday.

Berry founded Motown Records in 1957 and led an entertainment empire with artists such as Diana Ross and the Supremes, the Temptations and Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5.

Berry, who is scheduled to speak May 5 at the Breslin Center, also will receive an honorary doctor of humanities degree.

"Berry Gordy's pioneering entrepreneurship in our state, and throughout the world, has had lasting impact," Michigan State President Lou Anna K. Simon said in a statement.

"His creativity, work ethic, management savvy and development of artists have inspired and influenced so many others. Motown music, bridging racial and social divides, has brought unity and shared enjoyment to millions."

Gordy has received the Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award, Yale University's Gordon Grand Fellow Award, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Rainbow Coalition's Man of the Millennium Award.

He is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.