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U.S. Navy Adm. Harold W. Gehman Jr., supreme allied commander, Atlantic, and commander in chief, U.S. Joint Forces Command, and Donna E. Shalala, U.S. secretary of health and human services, will receive honorary degrees during Old Dominion University commencement exercises Dec. 19.

The ceremony for more than 2,200 graduates begins at 1:30 p.m. at Norfolk Scope. Gehman will deliver the commencement address and Shalala will speak briefly to the graduates following the presentation of her honorary doctorate.

Adm. Gehman commands NATO's Supreme Allied Command, Atlantic (SACLANT), and the U.S. Joint Forces Command, which includes 80 percent of U.S.-based armed forces.

His sea duty assignments included tours as engineer officer aboard USS John King (DDG 3) from 1969 to 1971 and as executive officer of USS Mitscher (DDG 35) in Destroyer Squadron 26.

He has commanded the USS Conserver (ARS 39) in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; USS Dahlgren (DDG 43) in Norfolk, Va.; USS Belknap (CG 26), the 6th Fleet flagship, in Gaeta, Italy; and Cruiser-Destroyer Group 8/Eisenhower Carrier Battle Group, serving as commander of Joint Task Force 120 during Operation Support Democracy.

Gehman served as the 29th vice chief of naval operations; deputy commander in chief, U.S. Atlantic Command; deputy commander in chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet; and executive assistant to both the vice chief of naval operations and the U.S. Atlantic Command/Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic.

Shalala is the longest-serving Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) in U.S. history. She joined the Clinton administration in January 1993 to lead the federal government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services.

With a fiscal year 1999 budget of approximately $381 billion and nearly 58,000 employees, HHS administers a wide variety of programs, including Medicare, Medicaid and federal welfare, and children's programs.

Shalala was the first woman to head a Big Ten school as chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was named by Business Week as one of the five best managers in higher education. She also served as president of Hunter College for eight years and was an assistant secretary at the Department of Housing and Urban Development during the Carter administration.

This article was posted on: December 14, 1999

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