CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Sunday in Corvallis, the First Lady of the United States will give her third commencement address this year. But this time her big brother will be watching.
“She was a good speaker early on,” said OSU Men’s Basketball Coach Craig Robinson.
He credits the conversation at family dinners for honing his sister's strong speaking skills.
“We had to talk about our day, what happened and what we learned,” he remembered.
Before becoming a basketball coach, Robinson worked in sales and relied on his sister to coach his presentations.
“My dad never let us say 'somethin’' instead of 'something,' so she would listen and if I did that with any word she would snap her fingers to remind me.”
Robinson acknowledges that his resemblance to the First lady is undeniable.
“Growing up people always thought we were twins," he said. "Then when I was on Stephen Colbert's show, he showed what I would look like with a wig. It was not a pretty sight.”
In her previous two speeches this year, Michelle Obama referenced “Hokie Nation” in Virginia and “Aggie Pride” in North Carolina, so Robinson fully expects a shout out to “Beaver Nation.”
“My sister’s a loyal Craig-Robinson’s-team fan. She worries about my games because she knows this is the type of business where if you don’t win you get fired. Now I have to do the same and worry about them winning in their business.”
The First Lady will have a new nephew to visit while in Corvallis. Robinson and his wife Kelli welcomed a son in February. It’s their fourth child.
"University graduations typically don't attract a lot of attention," said Steve Clark, an OSU spokesman. "In this case, we're receiving certainly regional attention across the Pacific Northwest and national attention, too." OSU's graduating class of nearly 5,000 students will be its largest ever, Clark said.
Obama will be given an honorary doctorate in public health, and officials expect more than 30,000 people to pack Reser Stadium for the graduation ceremony. Visitors will have to pass through metal detectors, and the university is encouraging them to arrive as early as possible. The doors will open at 12:30 p.m.
Robinson looks forward to spending time with his sister following the ceremony Sunday afternoon.
“Not only is it Father’s Day, it’s also my wedding anniversary and my sister’s in town," he said, "so I think Father’s day will probably get kicked to the curb.”