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Howard Dean to Discuss a “New American Generation” at VLS Commencement

May 20, 2010

SOUTH ROYALTON, VT -- Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, M.D., will speak at Vermont Law School's 35th commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 22. The public is invited to attend the event, which will begin at 10 a.m. on the South Royalton town green.

In his commencement address, Dean plans to encourage VLS graduates to immerse themselves in American politics and in their own communities.

"Yours is an extraordinary generation," Dean said in an excerpt from his commencement address titled The Emergence of a New American Generation. "At your age, you have ready elected your first president. With this power that you have now earned, you have a responsibility. We need you to stay involved - in politics and in your community, always."

Dean, a national leader on environmental and health care issues, served as Vermont's governor from 1991 to 2003, making him the second longest-serving governor in Vermont's history. He became a leading 2004 presidential contender when he delivered a speech criticizing Democrats for supporting the Iraq War. He served as chairman of the Democratic Party from 2005 to 2009. He was lead strategist, spokesman and fundraiser for the DNC and is credited with pioneering an energetic 50-state strategy that lifted Democrats to Congressional control in 2006 and 2008. He also helped propel support for the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries. He continues to be an influential leader in the movement to implement universal healthcare and in the environmental movement.

VLS commencement week events include a guest lecture by Blair Hamilton, policy director of the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, at 4 p.m., Friday, in Oakes Hall, room 007. His speech is titled "The Role of Energy Efficiency in Our Carbon Future." Hamilton has more than 30 years of experience in energy efficiency and renewable energy. His work ranges from basic energy materials research to energy policy analysis.

Dean, Hamilton and Thomas Powers, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author, will receive honorary degrees. The student speaker for graduation will be Abel Russ of Portland, Maine, who will receive a Juris Doctor degree.

The VLS Class of 2010 set a record for VLS class gift funds when it raised $78,602 and had 75 percent class participation for the Erin Woolley Scholarship Award. The endowed award is in honor of Erin Woolley, a 2010 classmate who will receive a posthumous Juris Doctor degree.

For more details on the week's activities at VLS, please visit our Commencement pages.

John Cramer, Associate Director of Media Relations
 802-831-1106 , jcramer@vermontlaw.edu

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