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The Honorable William J. Clinton to Deliver 2003 Commencement Address

May 11, Carrier Dome


The Honorable William J. Clinton, 42nd president of the United States, will address the 2003 graduates of Syracuse University and SUNY-ESF during joint Commencement exercises Sunday, May 11, in the Carrier Dome.

"I am pleased and proud that former President William Jefferson Clinton will be this year's Commencement speaker," says SU Chancellor and president Kenneth A. Shaw. "His presence and his address will make the ceremony a truly memorable one for our graduates and their families."

Clinton was elected president in 1992 and again in 1996-the first Democratic president to be awarded a second term in six decades. During his term, the United States enjoyed the strongest economy in a generation and the longest economic expansion in U.S. history. Clinton led the nation from record deficits to record surpluses; the creation of over 22 million jobs-more than any other administration; low levels of unemployment, poverty, and crime; and the highest home-ownership rate in history.

His accomplishments as president include increasing investments in education, providing tax relief for working families, helping millions of Americans move from welfare to work, expanding access to technology, encouraging investment in underserved communities, and promoting peace and strengthening democracy around the world. Clinton previously served as the governor of Arkansas, chairman of the National Governors' Association, and attorney general of Arkansas. As former chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council, he is one of the original architects and leading advocates for the Third Way movement.

Since leaving office in January 2001, Clinton, in conjunction with the William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation based in New York City, has continued his work on many issues that defined his administration, including the economic empowerment of the poor; racial, ethnic and religious reconciliation; and the education and health of young people.

Clinton was chosen as this year's Commencement speaker through a new selection process that gives students and others in the University community the opportunity to offer suggestions through a campus Web site. These votes were narrowed down to the leading candidates and submitted to Chancellor Shaw, who made the final decision.

Officially chartered in 1870 as a private, coeducational institution of higher education, Syracuse University is a leading student-centered research university. Syracuse's 11 schools and colleges share a common mission: to promote learning through teaching, research, scholarship, creative accomplishment and service while embracing the core values of quality, caring, diversity, innovation and service. The 680-acre campus is home to more than 18,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and 90 countries.

Contact: Sara Mortimer
Phone: 315-443-9038
E-mail: semortim@syr.edu