The president of the Republic of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, arrived at the Yale Center for British Art on Sunday night to attend the University’s annual dinner for honorary degree recipients.

Police blocked off the Chapel Street sidewalk as she exited a black SUV and entered the gallery.

In his Class Day speech today, former President Bill Clinton LAW ’73 also mentioned that the 71-year-old Johnson Sirleaf, who spoke at Yale in April 2009, was on campus Sunday.

Honorary degrees will be conferred at tomorrow’s Commencement ceremony. The News has learned that U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu will be among the other recipients.

UPDATE: Monday, May 24, 7:57 a.m. Yale officials have invited the singer Aretha Franklin to receive an honorary degree today but are not yet sure if she will attend Commencement. There are two versions of the Commencement program insert on Old Campus — one set with her name included and one set without it.