National Politicians Congratulate the Class of 2011

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National Politicians Congratulate the Class of 2011

As the spring semester winds to a close, many at the University are gearing up for commencement. The Class of 2011 will be congratulated by faculty, administration, family, and friends, as well as some of North Dakota’s most recognized political figures.

U.S. Senator John Hoeven, Senator Kent Conrad, and former Representative Earl Pomeroy will give the addresses at UND’s three commencement ceremonies this May.

On May 7, Hoeven will address the students eligible for graduation from the School of Law. On May 14, during General Commencement, Conrad will address the undergraduate and graduate students earning degrees. The weekend celebrations will cap off on May 15 with ceremonies for the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, where Pomeroy will offer well wishes. Pomeroy will also play a special role during General Commencement, receiving an Honorary Doctor Letters.

It is tradition for speakers of national prominence to address graduates during spring commencement exercises at UND. These three speakers have over 50 years of service to North Dakota as elected officials combined.

U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, School of Law, May 7, 10 a.m. at the Chester Fritz Auditorium:

While John Hoeven is currently serving his first term in the U.S. Senate, he was North Dakota’s governor from 2000 to 2010. As North Dakota's governor, Sen. Hoeven supported research at UND in a number of high profile areas, including energy, engineering, health and aerospace, particularly through the Centers of Excellence for Economic Development program, which he initiated. He has been a staunch supporter of UND's multi-pronged Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) programs. He has also backed UND’s efforts to provide distance education to place-bound North Dakotans, wherever they live.

U.S. Sen. Kent Conrad, General Commencement, May 14, 1:30 p.m. at the Alerus Center:

During his 20-plus years as an advocate for North Dakota in Washington, D.C. Senator Conrad helped write the 2002 and 2008 Farm Bills, wrote health care policy that ensured continued access to hospitals in rural areas, and fought unfair trade practices that hurt North Dakota's economy. He has introduced comprehensive energy legislation that would make the United States more energy independent. Senator Conrad has bipartisan respect as an expert on federal budget matters and is considered a leading Congressional "deficit hawk." With the Democrats winning the majority in the Senate in November 2006, Senator Conrad is now the Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee.

Earl Pomeroy, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, May 15, 2:30 p.m., at the Chester Fritz Auditorium:

A Valley City, N.D., native and UND alumnus, Pomeroy was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1992 and served until 2010. During his time in the U.S. House of Representatives, Pomeroy served on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, which gave him influence over key policy decisions on taxes, trade, Social Security and Medicare. He also sat on the House Agricultural Committee and was one of the few House members allowed to serve on two committees.

Pomeroy is currently a counsel in Alston & Bird’s Washington, D.C., office, where he focuses his practice on health care, regulatory and legislative matters. He advises clients on health policy and legislative strategies for health care delivery.

Pomeroy was nominated to receive the Honorary Degree at General Commencement by Mark Jendrysik, Chair of the UND Department of Political Science and Public Administration, and Kathryn Rand, UND School of Law Dean.

Jendrysik wrote in his letter of nomination that Pomeroy “is an outstanding example of commitment to public service and represents the values of leadership that we seek to teach in our students.”

In her nomination letter, Rand called Pomeroy “one of our most notable alumni.” She added, “Beyond his reputation as a public servant, he has been a staunch supporter of the School of Law and UND, generously offering his time and talent to our students, staff and faculty.”

More information on Spring Commencement Ceremonies

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