Former U.S. Secretary of Education Tips His Cap to the Class of 2013

July 19, 2013

More than 1,400 graduates and their guests attended Strayer University’s 121st annual commencement ceremony in Washington, D.C., to celebrate the academic accomplishments of the Class of 2013. Among the thousands of attendees was former U.S. secretary of education, Dr. Rod Paige, who delivered the keynote address.

Dr. Paige is most known for his contributions to raising national standards of academic quality with the passage of the landmark No Child Left Behind Act. The son of a school principal and a librarian, he was born in 1933 in segregated Mississippi and is the first and only African American secretary of education. “I believe that education is a civil right, and that all students should have access to a quality education that will open the doors of opportunity and success,” said Dr. Paige, who was appointed by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the United States Senate as the 7th U.S. secretary of education from 2001 to 2005.

“But having access to education is only half the battle. When you have students – such as Strayer University graduates – who are tenacious about expanding their knowledge and skills, the result is a class of outstanding, prepared graduates who stand ready to conquer their futures,” he said.

The Washington, D.C., commencement marked Strayer University’s third ceremony of 2013. Earlier this year, Chaka Fattah, U.S. Representative of Pennsylvania’s Second Congressional District addressed the graduates at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, Pa., and Anthony Amey, an Emmy-award winning news and sports anchor, spoke at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Ga. Later this year, Strayer University will hold three more ceremonies at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C., on Aug. 10; Norfolk Scope Arena in Norfolk, Va., on Oct. 26; and the 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore, Md., on Dec. 7.

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