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Vernon Jordan '57 is Commencement Speaker for University of DC

May 7, 2009

D2X_2355 copy.JPGMay 7, 2009, Greencastle, Ind. — "One of the major civil rights figures in American history," 1957 DePauw University graduate Vernon E. Jordan Jr., will deliver the keynote address and receive an honorary degree at the 2009 commencement of the University of the District of Columbia. The event will take place Saturday morning at the E. Washington Convention Center. Jordan will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the ceremony.

UDC's announcement notes that Jordan "is known worldwide for his work in the civil rights, business, legal and political arenas. He is a director of Lazard Ltd and Lazard Group, one of the world's preeminent financial advisory and asset management firms. He also serves as senior counsel at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. He previously held positions such as the president and chief Vernon Jordan Tight 44.jpgexecutive officer of the National Urban League, Inc.; executive director of the United Negro College Fund; attorney-consultant at the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity; and Georgia field director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He also serves on the board of directors of Xerox Corporation and Asbury Automotive Group, Inc. and serves as a senior adviser to the American Express Board of Directors."

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Vernon Jordan, who advised Presidents Clinton and Carter, recently published Make It Plain: Standing Up and Speaking Out and was named co-chair of the board of directors of the Center for Civil & Human Rights (CCHR). Learn more in this article.

Jordan has twice served as DePauw's commencement speaker, and marked the release of his memoir, Vernon Can Read!, with a speech on October 27, 2001 in which he spoke of his days as a student in Greencastle. Another lecture at DePauw, from June 4, 1982, addresses the topic of "Freedom in America." Audio Link [Download Audio: "Vernon Jordan's 1982 Speech" - 19,232kb]

On June 9, 2007, Jordan delivered the silver anniversary address at his Class of 1957's 50th reunion. Audio Link [Download Audio: "June 2007 Address by Vernon E. Jordan Jr. '57" - 5451kb]

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