Erie Community College will celebrate its 64th annual commencement at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 16, 2012 inside Buffalo State College’s sports arena, located on their campus at 1300 Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo.
At this year’s ceremony, ECC will welcome its keynote speaker, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, as they graduate approximately 2,350 students for the 2011-2012 academic year, including students who received associate degrees in September 2011 and January 2012.
“Erie Community College is honored to have Secretary LaHood as our commencement speaker,” said ECC President Jack Quinn. “His extensive record of success through tireless effort should speak to this year’s exceptional class of graduates.”
Secretary LaHood became the United States’ 16th Secretary of Transportation on January 23, 2009. In this post, LaHood leads an agency with more than 55,000 employees and a $70 billion budget that oversees air, maritime and surface transportation missions. His primary transportation goals include safety across all modes, creating jobs, shaping the economy of the coming decades by building new transportation infrastructure, and assuring that transportation policies focus on people who use the transportation system and their communities.
Before becoming Secretary of Transportation, LaHood served for 14 years in the U.S. House of Representatives from the 18th District of Illinois (from 1995-2009). Prior to his election to the House, he served as chief of staff to U.S. Congressman Robert Michel; district administrative assistant to Congressman Thomas Railsback; and also served in the Illinois State Legislature.
Prior to his career in government, Secretary LaHood was a junior high school teacher, having received his degree from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois after attending Canton Junior College.
“I am proud to count myself among the millions of Americans who attended community college,” said Transportation Secretary LaHood. “Every year, they make the impossible, possible, for graduates nationwide, giving them the tools they need to pursue their dreams and build better lives for themselves and their families. I am honored to address this year’s graduating class at Erie Community College.”