Sen. John Edwards is Commencement speaker at UNCP


John EdwardsU.S. Senator and presidential hopeful John Edwards is the May 2003 Commencement speaker for The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, according to an announcement by Chancellor Allen C. Meadors.

Commencement is Saturday, 10 a.m., May 10, in the Main Gym of Jones Athletic Complex.

"We could not be more pleased to have a presidential hopeful and outstanding North Carolinian like Senator John Edwards come to our campus," Chancellor Allen C. Meadors said. "This will be a very special day for the university and the Spring 2003 graduates."

Offering greetings for the University of North Carolina will be President Molly Corbett Broad.

Sen. Edwards, who announced his candidacy on January 2, is an early frontrunner for the presidential nomination.

Described by the Raleigh News and Observer as "smart, disciplined (and) hard working" with "a down-home manner," Edwards grew up in nearby Robbins, N.C.

Sen. Edwards has impressed colleagues in Washington and quickly captured the imagination of voters nationwide, as a much-talked about vice presidential choice in the last presidential contest. His election to the U.S. Senate in 1998 was his first political office.

A champion of homeland security, investment in public schools, patient protection and campaign finance reform, Sen. Edwards has taken tough positions on corporate corruption and international terrorism.

As part of his commitment to North Carolina, Sen. Edwards has visited all 100 counties, and every week that the Senate is in session, he hosts "Tar Heel Thursday," a town-hall style meeting that is open to all visiting North Carolinians.

Senator Edwards attended public schools and worked his way through North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina Law School, where he graduated with honors. His father was a textile worker, and Edwards was the first person in his family to graduate from college.

As an attorney practicing in Raleigh, Sen. Edwards made a name for himself as one of the outstanding lawyers in North Carolina.

He met his wife, Elizabeth, in Chapel Hill when they were both in law school. The couple had four children: Wade, who is deceased; Catherine, a student at Princeton University; four-year-old Emma Claire and two-year old Jack.