A memo from the chair of the Board of Trustees, Benjamin Soukup, was sent to the campus community on March 22, 2013.
Dear Campus Community,
We are delighted to inform you that United States Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood will address the Class of 2013 at the University's 144th Commencement exercises on Friday, May 17. Secretary LaHood will also receive the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
Secretary LaHood is a familiar face around Gallaudet. He was appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives to Gallaudet's Board of Trustees in 1997 and he served until 2009 when he became the 16th Secretary of Transportation. During his time on the Gallaudet Board, Secretary LaHood was involved in the Financial and Institutional Affairs committee.
While serving on the Gallaudet Board, Secretary LaHood participated in many activities including the Annual Business Campaign to support university programs and Gallaudet's 10th anniversary celebration in 2000 of the Americans with Disabilities Act. He was a mentor and role model to deaf students from Illinois at the university and the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center by meeting with them during his visits to the campus as well as welcoming them to his office on Capitol Hill.
As Secretary of Transportation, LaHood currently oversees an agency of more than 55,000 employees and a $70 billion budget for air, maritime, and surface transportation missions.
Prior to his position as Secretary of Transportation, LaHood spent 14 years in the U.S. House of Representatives from the 18th District of Illinois. During that time he served on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the House Appropriations Committee. Prior to his election to the House, he was Chief of Staff to U.S. Congressman Robert Michel, whom he succeeded in representing the 18th District, and as District Administrative Assistant to Congressman Thomas Railsback. He was also a member of the Illinois State Legislature.
We know that you will wholeheartedly concur with the Board of Trustees' choice of this exemplary individual to be the speaker during our upcoming Commencement exercises. We look forward to hosting Secretary LaHood and awarding graduates their diplomas for the successful completion of their education at Gallaudet University.
Benjamin J. Soukup
Chair, Board of Trustees
T. Alan Hurwitz
Posted: 5 Apr 2013