Deval Patrick to speak at Tufts graduation

Staff reports

Gov. Deval Patrick will deliver the commencement address at Tufts University on May 17.

"In these challenging economic times, we need to reaffirm the importance of education to both the individual and society," said Tufts President Lawrence S. Bacow. "It is through education that we prepare the next generation to assume positions of leadership in society, and it is through scholarship that we address the great questions of our time.

"Gov. Deval Patrick's personal journey from the south side of Chicago to the highest reaches of society speaks to the transformative power of education. We are grateful to him for sharing his insights with this year's graduates as they prepare to put into practice what they have learned at Tufts."

Patrick was elected governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 2006. Born and raised on Chicago's south side, he received a scholarship to Milton Academy at the age of 14 and graduated from Harvard with honors in 1978. He was the first person in his family to attend college.

After a year working on a UN project in Sudan, he returned to Harvard to earn a law degree. His illustrious career has included serving in the Clinton administration as assistant attorney general for civil rights, the nation's top civil rights post; as chair of Texaco's Equality and Fairness Task Force, widely recognized for creating a model for fostering an equitable workplace; and as vice president and general counsel for Texaco.

Patrick later became executive vice president and general counsel for the Coca-Cola Company. He has served on numerous charitable and corporate boards as well as the Federal Election Reform Commission under Presidents Carter and Ford.

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