The number back then was $700,000. It turns out that the actual numbers are in now, and of course, they're higher:
The final price of the University of California, Merced's commencement ceremony featuring first lady Michelle Obama was more than $1 million — surpassing the original estimate tenfold.
Private contributions and interest on a private endowment fund have helped cover the cost. UC spokeswoman Patti Waid Istas said that nonstate dollars and other contributions will be used to cover the remaining balance of around $362,338.
The school had budgeted $100,000 for the May commencement ceremony. The price tag ended up being $1.04 million.
Was she worth it? I guess only the people present can make that call. And as long as no taxpayer dollars are being spent for that ego boost--and I'm not yet convinced that's the case, but I have no evidence otherwise--I'm really in no position to complain.