President Clinton to Give Walden University Commencement Address

May 16, 2011

It's that time of year again: time for caps, gowns, diplomas and commencement speakers. This year Walden University, an accredited online higher learning institution, is showing that brick and mortar colleges and universities aren't the only ones that can draw well-known keynote speakers. On July 30th, President Bill Clinton will be in Minneapolis to speak at the university's graduation ceremony.

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By Harrison Howe

President Bill Clinton

A Commitment to Education

From his early days as Arkansas governor, Clinton has been a champion for education. He made educational reform in that state a priority during his governorship, leading to improvement in dropout rates and higher scores in college entrance exams.

During his two terms as President, his education policies had a positive impact on early as well as higher education. The overall quality of learning in the country rose under his tutelage, as schools became equipped with better teachers and technology.

Clinton's focus on education continues despite his being out of office for more than ten years. The Clinton Global Initiative program begun by the William J. Clinton Foundation has helped to make educational programs accessible to 50 million children. They've also focused on children's health: In 2005, the Foundation played a pivotal role in stopping the sale of sugared drinks in schools.

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An 'Honor' and an Honorary Doctorate

Jonathan Kaplan, Walden University president, said, 'It is a great privilege and honor to have President Clinton address our Walden graduates.' He also noted Clinton's support and work not only in education but in community service.

At the ceremony, Clinton will receive an honorary doctorate from the university. The doctorate will recognize the former president's 'commitment to civic engagement, youth leadership and education.' Clinton has been presented with honorary doctorates from several colleges and universities, including the University of Central Missouri, New York University, West Virginia University, William Jewell College and McGill University in Canada.

Walden University was established by two teachers in 1970. Its online undergraduate and graduate degree programs attract more than 42,000 students from across the country and around the world. Walden is a member of Laureate International Universities, a global private university network for which Clinton serves as honorary chancellor.

School reform continues to be an important issue for presidents in office. Find out more interesting details about the future of school reform here.

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