Larry Thompson graduated from Hannibal High in 1963.

Larry Thompson, a former deputy U.S. attorney general, will deliver the commencement address Thursday, May 16 at Hannibal High School.

I t is "quite an honor" to have Thompson, a Hannibal High alumnus, to speak during the graduation program, which will begin at 7 p.m. at Porter Stadium, said Hannibal Superintendent Susan Johnson during the April 17 Hannibal Board of Education meeting.

"I hope our seniors who are graduating and their families can celebrate what a wonderful person he is," Johnson said. "I know Larry is eager to come back and talk to the (school) district and community that gave him so much."

Before attending classes in the Hannibal #60 School District, Thompson attended the Douglass school in Hannibal, Johnson said.

He entered Hannibal Junior High as a freshman. He was part of the first class of African-Americans youth to attend that school.

At Hannibal High School, Thompson would be the first African-American class president. Thompson, who would be inducted into the National Honor Society, graduated from HHS in 1963.

Thompson would go on to attend and graduate from Culver Stockton College in Canton.

As an attorney, Thompson was appointed to serve as deputy U.S. attorney general in 2001 by President George W. Bush. He held that position for two years.

"Every one of our seniors who is graduating, all of our kids, have that same potential," Johnson said.

danny.henley@courierpost.com