Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards will serve as the principal speaker at the University of New Orleans fall commencement on Dec. 14. The ceremony will take place at 3 p.m. at the UNO Lakefront Arena.
“We are honored to welcome Gov. Edwards back to the University of New Orleans,” said UNO President John Nicklow. “The Governor has been a fierce supporter of higher education and the multitude of benefits it generates for individuals, businesses and our communities. We are grateful for his advocacy both during his time in the Governor’s Mansion and the state legislature. The Governor is a Louisiana native who has benefited from public education, and I am sure his message will resonate with our graduates.”
Gov. John Bel Edwards is the 56th governor in the State of Louisiana. The Amite, La. native was one of eight children. With four Tangipahoa Parish sheriffs in his lineage, he learned the importance of public service at an early age.
Gov. Edwards graduated in 1988 from the United States Military Academy at West Point. The governor served eight years as an Airborne Ranger on active duty with the U.S. Army and commanded a rifle company in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, NC. He went on to graduate Order of the Coif from Louisiana State University Law Center and set up a civil law practice in his hometown of Amite.
Despite having inherited a $2 billion budget deficit when he took office in 2016, Gov. Edwards worked across the aisle to stabilize Louisiana’s budget. For the second year in a row, he funded higher education without a cut after a decade of the largest disinvestment in the country. He has made investments in education a centerpiece of his administration.
Gov. Edwards and his wife, First Lady Donna Edwards, have three children: Samantha Bel, Sarah Ellen and John Miller.