Commencement Orator

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The Honorable Elijah E. Cummings
Congressman, 7th District, Maryland
U.S. House of Representatives

Special Citation of Achievement
Doctor of Laws, 2003

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said that "everyone can be great because everyone can serve." Congressman Elijah E. Cummings has dedicated his life of service to uplifting and empowering the people he is sworn to represent.

First sworn in as a Member of the United States House of Representatives in April 1996, Congressman Cummings is now in his sixth term in Congress. He serves on the House Government Reform Committee, is the Ranking Member of the Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources Subcommittee and is a member of the Federal Workforce and Agency Organization Subcommittee. Congressman Cummings also serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the Subcommittee on Highways & Transit and the Subcommittee on Railroads. In addition to his standing committee assignments, Congressman Cummings is a member of the Joint Economic Committee, the co-chair of the House AIDS Working Group, and a member of the House Task Force on Health Care Reform.

He is the Immediate Past Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Prior to his service in the Congress, Mr. Cummings served in the Maryland House of Delegates for 16 years. In the Maryland General Assembly, he served as Chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus and was the first African American in Maryland history to be named Speaker Pro Tem, the second highest position in the House of Delegates.

Born on January 18, 1951, Congressman Cummings graduated with honors from Baltimore City College High School in 1969. He attended Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he served as Sophomore Class President, Student Government Treasurer and Student Government President. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1973 with a degree in Political Science. Mr. Cummings then graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1976 and was admitted to the Maryland Bar in December, 1976. He practiced law for nineteen years before entering Congress.

Congressman Cummings serves on numerous boards and commissions including the United States Naval Academy Board of Visitors, the Maryland Zoo Board of Trustees, the Baltimore Aquarium Board of Trustees, the Baltimore Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors and the Yale-Howard Nursing Partnership Center to Reduce Health Disparities by Self and Family Management Advisory Committee.

In addition to his many speaking engagements, he writes a bi-weekly column for the Baltimore Afro-American newspaper.

An active member of New Psalmist Baptist Church, Congressman Cummings lives in the Madison Park community in Baltimore City.