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State Sen. Jackie Speier to keynote SFSU 2006 commencement



Denize Springer
SFSU Office of Public Affairs & Publications
(415) 405-3803
(415) 338-1665

Press Release published by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications


More than 20,000 expected to attend May 29 exercises

SAN FRANCISCO, April 10, 2006 -- District 8 California Sen. Jackie Speier will be the keynote speaker at San Francisco State University's 105th Commencement to be held at 12:15 p.m. Saturday, May 27 in Cox Stadium on campus.

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

Speier, a San Francisco native, began her public sector career as a legal aide to the late Congressman Leo Ryan, from 1972 to 1978. She accompanied Ryan on a trip to Jonestown, Guyana, to investigate reports that cult leader Jim Jones was holding constituents hostage. Speier 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.

The State legislation championed by Speier includes the first consumer financial privacy law in the nation, other laws protecting consumers from Internet and telemarketing scams, and laws providing funding for early AIDS intervention programs, breast cancer and child abuse prevention. She is chair of the banking, finance and insurance committee, and serves on the appropriations, education, health, public employment and retirement as well as the transportation and housing committees.

Speier served on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors from 1980 to 1986. She was elected to the California Assembly in 1986 and served until 1996 when her husband was killed in a traffic accident and Speier relinquished her office to care for their two small children. She returned to public life when she was elected to the Senate in 1998, representing the eighth district, which includes parts of San Mateo and San Francisco counties. She holds a bachelor's degree in political science from University of California, Davis and a doctorate of jurisprudence from the University of California's Hastings College of Law.

SFSU is the only master's level public university serving the counties of San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin. The University enrolls about 29,000 students each year and graduates about 7,000 annually. With nationally acclaimed programs in a range of fields - from creative writing, cinema and biology to history, broadcast and electronic communication arts, theatre arts and ethnic studies - the University's more than 150,000 graduates have contributed to the economic, cultural and civic fabric of San Francisco and beyond.


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Last modified April 11, 2006, by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications