<p>Due to a family emergency that will keep her from traveling to Providence, recording artist Aretha Franklin will not be able to participate in Brown University’s 241st Commencement on Sunday.</p>

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Brown University President Ruth J. Simmons announced today that Aretha Franklin, who was to receive an honorary Doctor of Music degree at the University’s 241st Commencement on Sunday, May 24, will be unable to participate in the ceremonies.

“We have been informed that Aretha Franklin will be unable to attend the University's Commencement ceremonies on Sunday due to a family emergency,” Simmons said. “The entire campus community — especially the graduating Class of 2009 — will miss the opportunity to honor Ms. Franklin and the remarkable music she has created during her long career. We wish her and her family well and hope to honor her on another occasion.”

Editors: This updates the University’s news release distributed April 23, 2009.