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Governor Ralph Northam to Deliver Commencement Address

Commencement will be held at Statesman Hall at 4:00pm on Saturday, May 12.

Governor Ralph Northam, the 73rd governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, will deliver the keynote address at Richard Bland College of William & Mary’s 55th Commencement Ceremony on May 12. Northam becomes the first Governor to serve as Commencement speaker at Richard Bland since Governor Mills E. Godwin delivered the address in 1969.

“The Board of Visitors looks forward to welcoming Governor Northam to the Richard Bland campus as the 2018 Commencement speaker,” said John Littel, Chair of the Richard Bland College Committee of William & Mary’s Board of Visitors. “As a long-time education advocate, the Governor recognizes the importance of Richard Bland’s mission in Central Virginia, and its role as one of the Commonwealth’s best values in public higher education.”

“The Governor has dedicated his life toward improving the health and quality of life of Virginia residents. He brings a motivational story of hard work, perseverance, and commitment that will inspire Richard Bland graduates and all who hear his message,” said RBC President Debbie L. Sydow. “The College is honored that Governor Northam will share his journey at the 2018 Commencement ceremony.”

Governor Northam, a native of Virginia’s Eastern Shore, has led a distinguished career, serving as an Army doctor, pediatric neurologist, business owner, state Senator and Lieutenant Governor. He graduated with distinction from the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1981 and earned his MD from Eastern Virginia Medical School in 1984. Following his graduation from VMI, Governor Northam served as a United States Army medical officer from 1984 to 1992. He left the Army at the rank of major and became a pediatric neurologist at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk. He also served an assistant professor of neurology at Eastern Virginia Medical School, where he taught medicine and ethics.

Commencement will be held at Statesman Hall at 4:00pm on Saturday, May 12.

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