Bono To Speak To Harvard Grads

Committee lands U2 frontman for June 6 event with help from professor who worked with singer on debt-relief campaign.

Harvard University found what it was looking for: U2 frontman Bono will speak to the school's graduating seniors on June 6.

The Irish rocker and human rights leader will speak at the annual Class Day celebration, according to Harvard's Senior Class Committee. He follows in the footsteps of comedian Conan O'Brien, last year's unconventional choice; past speakers also include Quincy Jones, baseball star Hank Aaron and news anchor Tom Brokaw.

The Senior Class Committee landed Bono with the help of Jeffrey D. Sachs, a professor of international trade at the university who worked with the singer on a debt-relief campaign for Third World countries.

"[Bono's] persuasive charm, talents and moral commitment helped to convince presidents and prime ministers and key legislators around the world to support debt cancellation, a process which is now under way for a couple of dozen of the world's poorest countries," Sachs told the Harvard Crimson. "He's also an amazing musical talent."

In the past year, Bono has met with world leaders such as Pope John Paul II and former president Bill Clinton to discuss debt issues.

U2 are scheduled to take their upcoming Elevation Tour 2001 to the Fleet Center in Boston, where Harvard is located, on June 5, 6, 8 and 9. The band played their smallest U.K. show in more than 10 years at the London Astoria club earlier this week, and kick off their North American tour March 24 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The group is promoting last year's acclaimed All That You Can't Leave Behind, which features the Grammy-nominated single "Beautiful Day."