Buena Vista University has announced that U.S. Senator Tom Harkin will be the keynote speaker for its 2010 Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 22 at 2:30 p.m.
Harkin has represented Iowa in Congress for 35 years. First winning election to the U.S. House in 1974, he represented Iowa's Fifth Congressional District until 1984 when he challenged an incumbent Senator and won. He was reelected to the Senate in 1990, 1996, 2002 and 2008.
"Senator Harkin has been a strong and influential advocate for education at all levels, and we look forward to hearing his commencement message to our Class of 2010," said BVU President Fred Moore. "Thanks to his work in the Senate, Iowa colleges and universities, including Buena Vista, have benefitted from funding that has improved the quality of academic programs, equipment and facilities resulting in greatly enhanced learning opportunities for students."
Since the mid-1990s, Harkin has been instrumental in securing federal funds for several BVU academic programs and capital projects including: the Information Technology Center; the Estelle Siebens Science Center; the Center for Academic Excellence, in support of students with disabilities; and the Le Mars location of BVU's Professional & Online Studies program, for technology improvements.
Harkin was born in Cumming, Iowa, and is a graduate of Dowling High School in Des Moines, Iowa State University, and the Catholic University of America Law School in Washington, D.C. He and his wife Ruth have two grown daughters, Amy and Jenny, and two grandchildren
Students from Buena Vista University's main campus and the 15 locations of its Professional & Online Studies program will receive bachelor of arts, bachelor of science or master's degrees in education at Commencement. The traditional academic procession of faculty and graduate candidates through the Victory Arch begins at approximately 2:15 p.m.
Tickets are required for admission to Siebens Fieldhouse. Those without tickets may view a live telecast in the Harold Walter Siebens Forum, or family and friends who are unable to attend may wish to view the event live on the BVU Web site and on the local University Cable Network channel.