Presidential hopeful scheduled to speak at commencement

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton will be the Commencement speaker at Dillard’s 138th graduation ceremony May 19 at 7:00 a.m. on the Rosa Freeman Keller Avenue of the Oaks.

Senator Clinton will be the second commencement speaker since Hurricane Katrina to speak at Dillard’s graduation, but the first in which students were officially back on the Gentilly campus. She will receive an honorary degree by Dr. Marvalene Hughes.

“I have met Senator Clinton on numerous occasions, including when she was still First Lady. We had an opportunity to speak at length and she promised that as soon as she was settled in New York and I was settled at Dillard that we would make this happen, and now that time is here,” said Dr. Marvalene Hughes, president of Dillard University. “Senator Clinton will soon be a part of the Dillard family.”

Senator Clinton was elected to the United States Senate from New York November 7, 2000 and was overwhelmingly re-elected to a second term last year. She is the only former first lady to ever be elected into the Senate. Senator Clinton serves on the Senate Committees for Environment and Public Works; Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; and is the first New York Senator to serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee. Students are looking forward to hearing the presidential hopeful deliver the Commencement address, one of the first national presidential candidates to speak at a Dillard graduation.

“I think she is awesome. A powerful woman trying to take on a powerful position. As a woman, I look forward to hearing her speak,” said Ashlee Yates, sophomore International Business Major from Memphis, TN. “I want to know what drives her, what inspires her, I look forward to meeting and speaking with her.” Born in Chicago, Ill. on October 26, 1947, Senator Clinton is the daughter of Dorothy Rodham and the late Hugh Rodham. She grew up in Park Ridge, Illinois and attended public school there. She attended Wellesley College and is a 1973 graduate of Yale Law School. Senator Clinton is married to former President William J. Clinton and they have one daughter, Chelsea.

“Her coming to speak here is very appropriate. We need more presidential candidates like her to come and speak,” said Sequoria Shelton, senior African Studies major from Nashville, TN. “UNO, Tulane, and Xavier has them, it’s about time that Dillard gets that same recognition.”

Senator Clinton is also a best selling author, her latest book Living History has sold over 1.5 million copies around the world. She is also author of , It Takes a Village: and Other Lessons Children Teach Us, An Invitation to the White House, and Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids Letters to the First Pets. Senator Clinton also remains a dominant presidential front runner among democrats nationally with twice the support of her nearest challengers far outpacing her rivals.

“I’ll do whatever I’m asked to do. I am very proud of my wife. So is her daughter. I wish her well. I can only tell you that I know her better than anybody on Earth, and she’s got the best combination of mind and heart, the ability to lead and learn, to stand fast . . . and to make honorable agreements with people who disagree with her, than anybody I’ve known,” said Bill Clinton earlier this year in New York.