Press Releases

La. Gov. John Bel Edwards to Serve as 2016 Commencement Speaker

Wednesday, March 02, 2016


Contact: Tammy Barney
(504) 286-5343

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards
To Serve as SUNO’s Commencement Speaker

NEW ORLEANS, LA – March 2, 2016 – La. Gov. John Bel Edwards will serve as the speaker for the Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) 2016 Commencement Saturday, May 7 at 4 p.m. in Kiefer Lakefront Arena.

Gov. Edwards previously served as the state representative for District 72 in the North Shore region. He is one of eight children from a family dedicated to public service. The Edwards have four generations of Tangipahoa Parish Sheriffs in their family lineage: His father was the elected Sheriff of Tangipahoa Parish and his brother Daniel currently is serving as Sheriff.

He is a 1988 Dean’s List graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. While at West Point, he was chosen by his classmates as the Vice Chairman of the Honor Committee In Charge of Investigations. After eight years of active duty with the U.S. Army as an Airborne Ranger, culminating with command of a rifle company in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C., he went on to graduate Order of the Coif from Louisiana State University’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center.

“Gov. Edwards is an ardent supporter of higher education in Louisiana. He is, in my opinion, at both the right time and place as the leader of our state, given the budgetary crisis we are facing,” SUNO Chancellor Victor Ukpolo said. “When it’s all said and done, I believe he’ll be remembered in history as the ‘Education Governor.’ SUNO is honored to have him serve as our 2016 Commencement speaker.”

The governor is married to his high-school sweetheart, the former Donna Hutto. They have three children.

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SUNO will launch a Doctor of Social Work program in Fall 2016. Information will be available in December and applications will be available in January 2016.