Governor Deval Patrick is slotted to receive an honorary degree from Salem State University this afternoon where he is scheduled to speak at the school's graduate commencement ceremony.
Salem State will present Patrick with Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, said Karen Cady, an associate vice president at Salem State.
In addition to the approximately 340 people in the graduating class, "we'll probably have another 1500 people with faculty, staff and family members" in the audience, Cady said.
Salem State spokeswoman Margo Steiner, in a February interview, said Patrick was the university's first choice for graduate commencement speakers.
"Eighty to 85 percent of our students stay in Massachusetts [after graduating], so he is speaking to the future employers of Massachusetts," Steiner said.
Last year Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, an education professor at Harvard University spoke at Salem State's graduate commencement, Cady said.
Today's commencement is scheduled for 4 p.m. and Patrick will likely speak at about 4:30 p.m., Cady said.