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Wednesday, December 1, 1999

Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend Delivers Fall

SALISBURY, MD---Lt. Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend delivers the commencement address for the final graduation exercises of the century for Salisbury State University on Sunday, December 19, at 3 p.m. at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center.

At graduation, 372 students are expected to receive bachelor's degrees: 223 Bachelor of Science, 141 Bachelor of Arts, and eight Bachelor of Arts in Social Work; 81 master's degrees: 42 Master of Education, 17 Master of Arts, 11 Master of Business Administration, 10 Master of Arts in Teaching, and three Master of Science.

Townsend, a frequent visitor to SSU and the Eastern Shore, is dedicated to making Maryland's communities safer, stronger and more prosperous with innovative, effective answers to the state's most critical challenges. She has sought to draw citizens into the search for solutions, engage their best efforts and get results.

As Maryland's crime czar, the designer of a nationwide model child and family services strategy, a champion for service and volunteerism, and the guiding force behind the state's economic development strategy, Townsend has sought the best energies of citizens, cut through ideological debates and focused on results. Vice President Al Gore said, "Kathleen has done more for her state than most governors."

Townsend fervently believes in the relationship between strong, healthy families and strong, healthy communities. She had redesigned Maryland's children and family services to enable local communities to work together to meet the specific needs of children. To help parents spend more time with their children, she helped lead the search for answers to many parent's juggle of work and family, and held a national summit to draw attention to proven solutions.

Townsend also began one of the first statewide character education initiatives in the country, to reinforce parents' efforts to teach their children shared values and ideals. "Every child has the ability and the responsibility to make the world around them a better place," said Townsend. "They have a hero inside them. We have an obligation to offer them the tools they need to become those heroes."

Before becoming Lt. Governor, Townsend served as Deputy Attorney General of the U.S. Department of Justice; made Maryland the first state to include a high school community service requirement as the founder and executive director of the Maryland Student Service Alliance; founded the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award; and taught at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

The eldest child of Robert and Ethel Kennedy, Lt. Governor Townsend lives in Baltimore County with her husband, David, a professor at St. John's College in Annapolis. They have four daughters.

Admission to SSU commencement is by ticket only. For more information about tickets or speakers, please contact the Public Relations Office at 410-543-6030.


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