President Bill Clinton, founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation and 42nd president of the United States, will be the keynote speaker at Walden University's commencement on July 30, 2011. Walden plans to confer President Clinton with an honorary doctorate in recognition of his commitment to civic engagement, youth leadership and education.
President Clinton also serves as honorary chancellor of Laureate International Universities, the global network of leading private universities that includes Walden. As honorary chancellor, he advises the network in areas such as social responsibility, youth leadership and increasing access to higher education.
President Clinton has had a long-standing commitment to education. As governor of Arkansas, he promoted federal education policies that supported teachers, raised standards and increased test scores above the national average. While serving as the 42nd president of the United States (1993–2001), he and his administration made the biggest investment in education in more than 30 years, helping expand access to early education, making higher education more affordable and accessible, and improving the quality of learning in the United States by increasing the number of high-quality teachers, turning around failing schools and expanding access to technology.
After leaving office, President Clinton established the William J. Clinton Foundation with the mission to strengthen the capacity of people in the United States and throughout the world to meet the challenges of global interdependence. Today, the foundation takes action on worldwide issues that urgently require solutions and measurable results—including climate change, HIV/AIDS in the developing world, childhood obesity, economic opportunity in the United States and economic development in Africa and Latin America. Additionally, President Clinton works to engage college students through the Clinton Global Initiative University and supports schools in creating healthier environments for students and staff through the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a partnership between the Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association.
"It is a great privilege and honor to have President Clinton address our Walden graduates," said Jonathan Kaplan, president of Walden University. "President Clinton's tireless commitment to social change and community service embodies the spirit of Walden. He will undoubtedly leave a lasting positive impression on our graduates and their families."
Many of the graduates in attendance at commencement will represent The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership, named after Richard W. Riley who served as the United States Secretary of Education during President Clinton's administration.
The commencement ceremony will be held July 30 at 1:30 p.m. at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minn. The ceremony and President Clinton's address can be viewed live at www.WaldenU.edu.