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Press Release  
Release Date: Friday, May 24, 2013 4:00 PM
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Media Contact:
Rachel Mann
Communications Specialist
Education Secretary Arne Duncan to Deliver Howard University's
144th Commencement Address
Arne Duncan
Arne Duncan

WASHINGTON (March 30, 2012) – Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education, has been named as the 2012 orator for Howard University’s 144th Commencement Convocation, Saturday, May 12 at 10 a.m. on the Upper Quadrangle of the main campus.

Duncan was named Education Secretary by President Barack Obama and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Jan. 20, 2009.  Prior to his appointment, Duncan served as the chief executive of the Chicago Public Schools from 2001 through 2008, the longest-serving tenure of any big-city education superintendent in the country.

Before joining the Chicago Public Schools, Duncan ran the Ariel Education Initiative (1992–1998), a nonprofit focused on advancing educational opportunities in economically disadvantaged areas. Duncan has also served on the Board of Overseers for Harvard College, the Visiting Committees for Harvard University's Graduate School of Education and the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration.

From 1987 to 1991, Duncan played professional basketball in Australia, where he worked with children who were wards of the state. Duncan graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1987.

          • WHAT: Howard University’s 144th Commencement Exercise
          • WHEN: Saturday, May 12, 2012, 10 a.m.
          • WHERE: Howard University, Upper Quadrangle of Main Campus (6th and Howard Place, NW), Washington, D.C.

Note to the Media
Please be advised that media coverage must be coordinated by 5 p.m. Thursday, May 10, 2012. All broadcast media must be stationary by 8:30  a.m.


Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, a Marshall Scholar, 30 Fulbright Scholars and 11 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University's Web site at

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