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ODU Announces Graduation Speakers

Former presidential adviser David Gergen, a professor of public service at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government and director of its Center for Public Leadership, and Lt. Gen. Kathleen M. Gainey, a general officer on the Joint Chiefs of Staff and an Old Dominion alumna, will address the university's graduates and receive honorary degrees during spring commencement exercises Saturday, May 9, at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.

Approximately 3,380 May and August graduates will be eligible to take part in the ceremonies.

Gainey, who will receive an honorary doctor of science degree, will address graduates of the colleges of Arts and Letters, Engineering and Technology and Health Sciences at the 9 a.m. ceremony.  Gergen, who will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree, will speak to graduates of the colleges of Business and Public Administration, Education and Sciences at the 2 p.m. program.

Gergen served as director of communications for President Reagan and held positions in the administrations of Presidents Nixon and Ford. In 1993, he agreed to first serve as counselor to President Clinton on both foreign policy and domestic affairs, then as special international adviser to the president and to Secretary of State Warren Christopher.

In addition to his current position at Harvard, Gergen is editor-at-large at U.S. News & World report and a senior political analyst for CNN. In 2000, he published a best-selling book, "Eyewitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership, Nixon to Clinton."

Gainey received her commission as a second lieutenant through Army ROTC in 1978, upon her graduation from ODU with a bachelor's degree in special education.

Currently, she is the director for logistics, J-4, with the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Her previous commands were in Ford Island, Hawaii; Fort Eustis, Va.; Bamberg, Germany; Cumberland, Pa.; and Scott Air Force Base, Ill.

Among her many assignments was a stint as deputy chief of staff for resources and sustainment with the Multi-National Force - Iraq. Her awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster.

Additional information about commencement can be found online at http://www.odu.edu/ao/commencement/

This article was posted on: April 2, 2009

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