U.S. Senator Tim Kaine to Speak at Law School's May 15 Diploma Ceremony

  • Commencement Speaker
    Commencement Speaker  Senator Kaine will address graduates of the J.D. and LL.M. programs at the May ceremony.  
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U.S. Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia will deliver the address at William & Mary Law School's diploma ceremony on May 15. Kaine, who was elected to the Senate in 2012, was first elected to public office more than two decades ago, serving as a city council member and later as mayor of Richmond. He became Virginia’s lieutenant governor in 2002, and served as the Commonwealth’s 70th governor from 2006 to 2010.

The Law School ceremony, which will be held at William & Mary's Martha Wren Briggs Amphitheatre at Lake Matoaka on Sunday, May 15, begins at 8:15 a.m. Degrees will be awarded to approximately 250 students in the J.D. and LL.M. programs. Seating will be limited to graduates and their guests. (Note: the amphitheatre was formerly known as "Lake Matoaka Amphitheatre.")

Kaine serves on the Armed Services, Budget, Foreign Relations, and Aging Committees. He is Ranking Member of the Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee and the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on State Department USAID Management, International Operations, and Bilateral International Development.

The senator is a founder and co-chair of the bipartisan Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus. Many of his proposals to advance CTE were included in the 2015 re-write of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. He has also worked to recognize Indian tribes in Virginia, to encourage education on the secondary school level to prevent dating violence and sexual assault, and to prevent drug-related deaths.  He joined with other lawmakers in February to introduce the 400 Years of African American History Act to establish a commission to plan programs and activities nationwide in 2019 to recognize the arrival of African Americans in our country and their contributions.

Kaine is a graduate of the University of Missouri and Harvard Law School.

Student Bar Association President Scott A. Krystiniak, J.D. ’16, said he was honored that Kaine accepted his class’s invitation to speak. "Senator Kaine is an ideal graduation speaker. His experience and leadership in politics and government are nothing short of extraordinary,” he said. “His skills as an orator will add tremendously to our ceremonies. I cannot wait to show him how amazing all of our citizen lawyers at William & Mary are and welcome him at our graduation."

In December 2014, Kaine served as keynote speaker for a conference on flooding and coastal change in Virginia hosted by the Law School’s Virginia Coastal Policy Center and the Center for Coastal Resources Management at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. During that visit to the university, he also visited AidData, a development research and innovation lab, for a conversation with students, faculty and staff about research initiatives.

Of special note: In April, the Board of Visitors approved the renaming of Lake Matoaka Amphitheatre to the Martha Wren Briggs Amphitheatre at Lake Matoaka, in honor of Martha Wren Briggs (Class of 1955) for her commitment to the facility's restoration.

About William & Mary Law School

Thomas Jefferson founded William & Mary Law School in 1779 to train leaders for the new nation. Now in its third century, America's oldest law school continues its historic mission of educating citizen lawyers who are prepared both to lead and to serve.