Magic Johnson Will Speak at Med School

Magic Johnson will speak at Harvard Medical School's Class Day ceremonies on June 4, school officials said yesterday.

Johnson, the former L.A. Lakers basketball star who shocked the world last fall by announcing he had tested positive for HIV, the virus which causes AIDS, will deliver an address to the Medical School community in the afternoon of Commencement Day.

Dr. Edward M. Hundert, dean of Student affairs at the Medical School, said that Johnson has not yet given officials a title for his talk, but is expected to speak on AIDS. The speech will be a one-time engagement, not part of a tour.

Hundert said the school's graduating class voted to invite Johnson. The first-choice speakers of previous classes have often declined, and the community is excited that Johnson accepted, he said.

"I thought it was great," Hundert said.


The Medical School invitation is the second offer to speak at Harvard that Johnson has received this year. The Undergraduate Council invited him to speak, but council members heard recently that Johnson declined the offer, according to council Chair David A. Aronberg '93.

Johnson joins a long list of distinguished physicians and other health care professionals who have addressed Medical School graduates.

Last year's speakers were Dr. Jonas Salk, who developed the first polio vaccine in 1954; Professor of Surgery emeritus Dr. Joseph Murray, co-winner of the 1990 Noble Prize in physiology or medicine for performing the first kidney transplant in 1954; and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Louis Sullivan.