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Congressman Elijah E. Cummings to Address UMD’s 2017 Winter Graduates

A Public Servant, Civil Rights Champion and Maryland Native, Cummings to Also Receive Honorary Doctorate.


Katie Lawson , 301-405-4622 lawsonk@umd.edu


The University of Maryland announces today that Congressman Elijah E. Cummings will deliver the university's winter commencement address on Dec. 19, 2017 at the XFINITY Center. Congressman Cummings will also receive an honorary doctorate of public service from the university.

“What an outstanding role model for our students and the entire campus,” said University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh. “Congressman Cummings rose from a humble background, embraced the power of education, and in 35 years of service has never forgotten where he came from. Colleagues on both sides of the aisle deeply admire his commitment to bipartisanship. His message has great power.”

“We are at pivotal time in our nation and our world, and it is a tremendous honor to address a bright, talented and ambitious graduating class as they enter our workforce and make an impact on the future,” said Cummings.

“Congressman Cummings embodies our university’s core values of diversity, inclusion and respect,” said UMD Senior Vice President and Provost Mary Ann Rankin. “We look forward to hearing how those values underscore Congressman Cummings' life’s work and how he can inspire our graduates to embed those values in their future endeavors.”

Congressman Cummings began his career of public service in the Maryland House of Delegates, where he served for 14 years and became the first African American in Maryland history to be named Speaker Pro Tem. Since 1996, Congressman Cummings has represented Maryland’s 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Congressman Cummings currently serves as the ranking member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He is also a senior member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, serving on both the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation and the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials.

He serves on numerous boards and commissions, including as chairman of the Maritime Advisory Board for New Era Academy; the U.S. Naval Academy Board of Visitors; the Morgan State University Board of Regents; the University of Maryland Law School Board of Advisors; and the SEED School of Maryland Board of Directors.

Congressman Cummings is an honorary board member of KIPP Baltimore Schools and the Baltimore School for the Arts; and was also the holder of the Gwendolyn S. and Colbert I. King Endowed Chair in Public Policy Lecture Series at Howard University from 2014 – 2016.

He was born and raised in Baltimore, Md., obtained his bachelor’s degree in political science from Howard University, serving as Student Government President and graduating Phi Beta Kappa, and then graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law. He has also received 12 honorary doctoral degrees from universities throughout the nation.


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