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State Sen. Speier to keynote Commencement

April 11, 2006

Photo of Jackie SpeierState Sen. Jackie Speier, D-San Francisco, will be the keynote speaker at SFSU's 105th Commencement to be held Saturday, May 27.

"Protecting the quality of higher education and increasing access to college in California is one of my highest priorities," Speier said. "The very future of our state -- both economically and culturally -- depends on it."

"Senator Speier is a leader of great courage and determination," said President Robert A. Corrigan. "She exemplifies values that we hope will guide all of our students as they pursue careers and service to their communities."

Speier was elected to the Senate, representing District 8, in 1998. Among the priorities and legislation she has championed are the first consumer financial privacy law in the nation and laws protecting consumers from Internet and telemarketing scams. She has supported statewide early AIDS intervention programs, as well as breast cancer and child abuse prevention programs. Sen. Speier is chair of the banking, finance and insurance committee. She also serves on the appropriations, education, health, public employment and retirement, transportation and housing committees.

The San Francisco native's public sector career began and nearly ended during her first turn in politics as a legal aide to the late Congressman Leo Ryan from 1972 to 1978. Speier, who went with Ryan to Jonestown, Guyana to investigate reports that cult leader Jim Jones was holding constituents hostage, was shot five times and left for dead on the Jonestown airstrip where Ryan died. As she waited nearly 20 hours for help, she decided that should she survive she would dedicate her career to public service.

Speier served on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors from 1980 to 1986, the year she was elected to the State Assembly. She served in the assembly until 1996 when her husband was killed in a traffic accident and Speier relinquished her office to care for their two small children alone. She returned to public life when she was elected to the Senate in 1998.

Speier holds a bachelor's degree in political science from University of California, Davis and a juris doctorate from the University of California's Hastings College of Law.

-- Denize Springer


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Last modified April 11, 2006 by University Communications