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May 1, 2015: Obama Chooses Chicago for Presidential Library, Southwest Airlines Stages Concert at 35,000 Feet, Colleges Announce Notable Commencement Speakers

1. OBAMA CHOOSES CHICAGO FOR PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY: President Obama will open his presidential library in Chicago, according to news reports. The official announcement has not been made, but several reports have indicated that the University of Chicago on the city’s South Side will host the library. Chicago Tribune: “The selection caps a yearlong competition that began with 13 bids that eventually were narrowed down to four finalists. The U. of C., where Obama taught constitutional law for a dozen years and first lady Michelle Obama formerly worked as a hospital administrator, had long been considered the front-runner. The South Side also is where Obama launched his political career as a state senator in 1996 and where the first lady was born.”

2. SOUTHWEST AIRLINES STAGES CONCERT AT 35,000 FEET: To publicize its new nonstop route from Memphis to Dallas, Southwest Airlines presented a surprise concert from indie rockers the Black Cadillacs aboard a flight Tuesday. Adweek: “The concert, part of Southwest's ongoing "Live at 35" series, which has had bands like Imagine Dragons and The Dunwells perform in-flight, is part VML's latest campaign to promote Tennessee tourism. For the concert, the Black Cadillacs wrote a new song about their hometown, part of the new documentary produced by VML called ‘Last Song to Memphis.’”

3. COLLEGES ANNOUNCE NOTABLE COMMENCEMENT SPEAKERS: First Lady Michelle Obama will address graduates of Tuskegee University on May 9, one of the bigger names scheduled to speak at commencement ceremonies this year. Other notable selections include Stephen Colbert at Wake Forest University and Dr. Jay Varkey, who treated Ebola patients, at Centenary College in New Jersey. Huffington Post: “It may be a way to garner publicity for the school, but as far as students are concerned, it's usually the most entertaining part of the sometimes prolonged commencement ceremonies.”


BOSTON:  The Perkins for Possibilities gala will take place on May 7 at Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown.

CHICAGO:  The Art Institute of Chicago will host an opening gala for its David Adjaye exhibit on September 18. The event will include a peek at the exhibition, a dinner, and a late-night party with a DJ.

LAS VEGAS:  The Linq Hotel & Casino has opened its new pool destination, which includes two pools, 10 cabanas, 35 daybeds, and 25 private cabana rooms.

LOS ANGELES:  SeriousFun Children’s Network will host a benefit May 14 at the Dolby Theatre to benefit its work serving children living with serious illnesses and their families. Lou Adler and Kevin Duncan are producing the event, which has a celebrity-filled lineup of performances and appearances.

Celebrities like Aloe Blacc and Samantha Hoopes and city officials including Mayor Garcetti joined together to support the Guess Foundation and Peace Over Violence at the Annual Denim Day rally on Wednesday.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  A new philanthropic initiative of the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, Men Advocating Real Science, kicks off Wednesday with a breakfast at the Coral Reef Yacht Club in Coconut Grove.

NEW YORK:  The Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Charles Duhigg has been named senior editor of The New York Times’s live events business. Press release:

United Way of New York City’s 22nd annual Gridiron Gala will take place May 12 at the New York Hilton Midtown with several members of the New York Jets and New York Giants expected among the 1,000 guests.

The anti-human trafficking organization Nomi Network will host its fifth annual gala and awards on Tuesday at the New York Academy of Medicine.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

TORONTO:  Toronto Pan American Games C.E.O. Saad Rafi’s salary—$438,718 in 2014—has been called into question. The Globe and Mail:

YouTube Fan Fest will take place in Yonge-Dundas Square on Saturday.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  The Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Inaugural Program Summit will take place May 11-12 at the Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square. The invitation-only event will present conversations on innovation, entrepreneurship, inclusion, and leadership.

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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Jill Menze, and Anna Sekula in New York.

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