Oscar winner Marlee Matlin Marquette commencement speaker

(Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Actress Marlee Matlin will deliver the commencement address at Marquette University on May 20 at 9 a.m.

Matlin won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1987 after making her professional acting debut in "Children of a Lesser God." She was the first deaf person to win an Academy Award and is the youngest winner in the Best Actress category.

She was recently part of the cast of the film, "CODA," which won the Academy Award for Best Picture and Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.

"Marlee Matlin is a gifted actress who carries forward the Marquette spirit beyond the screen as a strong advocate for others," Marquette President Michael R. Lovell said in a statement. "She has illuminated new perspectives in her art, from those experiencing deafness to living with disabilities, which have touched multiple generations. I look forward to hearing her inspiring message for our graduates."

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The statement noted that Matlin only accepts roles if producers commit to caption the film or television program. She is considered the "best-known deaf person in the United States."

John Gurda, noted writer and Milwaukee historian, will speak at Marquette's Graduate School/Graduate School of Management ceremony that afternoon at 2 p.m.

As part of the university's commencement ceremonies, Matlin will receive an honorary doctor of fine arts degree and Gurda will be presented an honorary doctor of letters degree.