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Air Force colonel to address MUW graduates

May 11, 2019 GMT

COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi University for women is celebrating more than 400 graduates.

The university is holding two commencement ceremonies Saturday on its Columbus campus.

Col. Samantha Weeks is the keynote speaker for both ceremonies. She’s the commander of the U.S. Air Force’s 14th Flying Training Wing at Columbus Air Force Base. The unit trains pilots for the Air Force and forces of other nations. She’s a former combat pilot who was also a member of the Air Force’s aerial demonstration team, the Thunderbirds.

Earlier Saturday, Rita Felton spoke to graduates at the Magnolia Chain ceremony, an MUW tradition emphasizing friendship. Felton retired from the Air Force after becoming the first African American woman to serve as command chief master sergeant for the 14th Flying Training Wing.