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May 11, 2001

Children's Defense Fund Founder/President to Deliver UMBC Undergraduate Commencement Keynote

Baltimore, Md. - Founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund (CDF), Marian Wright Edelman, will deliver the keynote address at UMBC thirty-fourth commencement exercises. More than 1,000 bachelor's degrees will be awarded at the Baltimore Arena at 1 p.m. on May 24.

Edelman will be presented with an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree, as will Senator Barbara Hoffman and Delegate Howard Rawlings.

Edelman, a graduate of Spelman College and Yale Law School, was the first black woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar. Prior to founding CDF in 1973, Edelman directed the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund office in Jackson, Miss., and served as the Director of the Center for Law and Education at Harvard University. In 2000, Edelman received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award, and the Robert F. Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award for her writings, which include the #1 New York Times bestseller, The Measure of Our Success: A Letter to My Children and Yours.

The mission of (CDF) is to ensure every child successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. CDF provides a strong, effective voice for all children who cannot vote, lobby, or speak for themselves, with particular attention to the needs of poor and minority children and those with disabilities.

Remarks will also be made by Class of 2001 valedictorian Steven Handy. A computer science major and a psychology minor, Handy will graduate with a 4.0 grade point average and a certificate from the Honors College. Upon graduation, he will work for the Computer Science Corporation in its Federal Sector, Civil Group-NASA, with a team responsible for formatting and web presentation of data and documentation for NASA's EOS and ESDIS satellites.

For more information on commencement, please visit the UMBC commencement web site at www.umbc.edu/commencement, or call the commencement hotline at 410-455-3100.

Posted by dwinds1 at May 11, 2001 12:00 AM