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Dec. 16, 2005
CONTACT: Ward Mullens
734.487.4400
ward.mullens@emich.edu

House schedule forces Congressman Dingell's withdrawal as Eastern Michigan University commencement speaker

YPSILANTI - Congressman John D. Dingell, MI-15, will not be addressing the graduates at Eastern Michigan University Sunday, Dec. 18. Instead, he’ll be where he’s been for the better part of the past 50 years, at the U.S. House of Representatives.

            Dingell, who was scheduled to deliver the Commencement address and receive an honorary doctorate of public service, was forced today to cancel his appearance when house leaders announced that the House would remain in session through the weekend to complete unfinished business.

            “I am sorry that I will be unable to share this joyous moment with Eastern Michigan University’s newest graduates and their families on Sunday, however, I need to stay in Washington to represent my constituents as the House will be deliberating a number of critical matters,” said Dingell. “I would still like to salute them on their tremendous accomplishment; my inability to attend the ceremony is truly my loss.”

“Clearly, we are disappointed that we will have to postpone honoring Congressman Dingell, but understand that his responsibilities as a legislator come first. One of the reasons his constituents have returned him to office time and again is because they know they can count on him to be there for them regardless of personal sacrifice,” said John A. Fallon, Eastern Michigan University president.

Dingell is the Dean of the House of Representatives and has represented Southeast Michigan since 1955. He authored the 1990 Clean Air Act and the Endangered Species Act. He also took a leading role in creating the “Do Not Call” list in 2003. Congressman Dingell celebrated his 50th anniversary in the US House on December 13.

Fallon said that the University has extended an invitation to Dingell to address the graduates at the April Commencement and to receive his honorary doctorate at that time.

EMU Distinguished Professor Dr. Gary Evans will deliver the December Commencement address instead.  “Dr. Evans has won every teaching award the University offers. He’s been honored by students, alumni and his peers as one of the best of the best,” said Cathy Lower, Commencement coordinator. “We had intended to ask Dr. Evans to speak at a future ceremony. Fortunately, he was available and agreed to deliver the December address. I know that the graduates are in for a treat.” 

Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their careers and lives, and to be better citizens.

 

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Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.


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