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Ashley Judd graduates from the University of Kentucky

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Among the 4,000 students who graduated from the University of Kentucky last Sunday was one of Kentucky's very own movie stars.

Ashley Tyler Judd, who attended UK from 1986 to 1990 but left one course shy of graduation, finished her work 17 years later.

She received a BA in French, according to UK spokesman Jay Blanton, but it was not clear whether she attended any ceremonies.

Blanton said student confidentiality laws prevented him from saying how she finally received her degree.

In an interview last year, Judd told the Lexington Herald-Leader that she would probably take a correspondence course to finish the one class necessary to get a degree. When she left in 1990, correspondence courses were not allowed to count toward graduation.

An ardent UK basketball fan, Judd, 39, also gives credit to her UK professors for inspiration with her film career and her work as a global AIDS activist.

"I had the most extraordinary professors who encouraged me, believed in me — I can feel myself start to cry — and nurtured my gifts. It was the most pivotal, seminal moment of my life," she said in the interview last year.

Judd delivered the annual Blazer Lecture at UK last year entitled "At the Root of My Longing: Social Justice, Feminism and Spirituality."