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Gov. Beebe unable to attend UA commencement

By The Associated Press

This article was originally published April 22, 2014 at 7:37 a.m. Updated May 9, 2014 at 7:14 a.m.

FAYETTEVILLE — The University of Arkansas says Gov. Mike Beebe will be unable to attend a commencement ceremony as planned because of a death in his family.

The university said in a news release Thursday that Beebe will attend a funeral in northeast Arkansas. Beebe's office says Beebe's 92-year-old aunt, Dane Quattlebaum Huskey Jiles of Tuckerman, died Monday. The Jonesboro Sun reported that her funeral is Saturday in Tuckerman. The governor is delivering the eulogy.

Beebe was to receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree during Saturday's All University Commencement ceremony and sculptor Anita Huffington is to be presented an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree. Huffington is still scheduled to appear and to speak during the ceremony.

UA President G. David Gearhart said he hopes to present Beebe the honorary degree later.

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