SPOKANE, Wash. -

Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu has been named the keynote speaker for Gonzaga University's senior commencement on May 13.

While he retired from public life in 2010, Archbishop Tutu accepted Gonzaga's request for him to speak after being inspired by Gonzaga's global activism.

"I am always inspired and awed by the idealism and altruism of young people. I was swept off my feet at the projects they described in the [Gonzaga students magazine] One World . So I am honoured to accept your kind invitation . . . to share in your 125th year celebrations and 2012 Commencement exercises," Tutu wrote.

Archbishop Tutu, along with Nelson Mandela, played a critical role in the fight against Apartheid in South Africa, and earned the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition for his efforts. The following year he was named bishop of Johannesburg and in 1986 was named the Archbishop of Cape Town, becoming the first black cleric to lead the Anglican Church in South Africa.

The holder of more than 130 honorary degrees from universities in Europe and the United States, Archbishop Tutu will be presented with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by Gonzaga President Thane McCulloh during the commencement ceremony.