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Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed to Address Graduates at 2012 Claflin University Commencement Convocation

Apr 16, 2012

Before the Claflin University Class of 2012 steps into the world to make their imprint, they will hear from a visionary man who has made a tremendous impact on one of the nation’s largest metropolitan cities – Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

Reed will deliver the keynote address at the 2012 Claflin University Commencement Convocation on Saturday, May 12 at 11 a.m. 

“It is thrilling to have a speaker of Mayor Reed’s stature address our graduates before they embark on their life’s journey,” said President Dr. Henry N. Tisdale.  “Our students are ready to tackle the world’s most pressing issues and hearing the life story and receiving meaningful advice from a remarkable leader will prove invaluable for them.”

After winning a historic election in 2009, Reed was inaugurated as the 59th Mayor of the City of Atlanta in January the following year.  Wasting no time, Reed has hired more than 400 more police officers, re-opened each of the city’s recreation centers as safe havens for youth and improved Atlanta’s fire-rescue response times and sanitation services.

During his tenure, Reed has increased the city’s reserves from $7.4 million to upwards of $94 million and initiated reform to pension liability.

Before becoming mayor, Reed was a legislator with the Georgia General Assembly, first elected in 1998 as a state representative.  He also served in the State Senate starting in 2002.  There, he was vice chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus and on key committees such as the Judiciary Committee, Higher Education Committee, Ethics Committee and Transportation Committee, among others.

As a mayor, Reed is nationally recognized among his peers.  He serves as chairman of the Transportation and Communications of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.  Reed has been featured on countless media outlets such as Meet the Press, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Charlie Rose Show and The Washington Post, among others. 

He is also chairman of the Regional Transit Committee of the Atlanta Regional Commission.  Formerly, he served on the boards of the National Black Arts Festival and Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund.   As an undergraduate member of the Howard University Board of Trustees, he established a fundraising which to date has garnered $10 million for the institution’s endowment.  In 2002, he was appointed as the youngest General Trustee in the history of Howard.

Most recently, Reed was named recipient of the 2012 Louis E. Martin Great American Award presented by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. The center is a Washington, D.C. research and policy institution that has supported African American leadership for more than four decades.

Reed is a member of the Leadership Atlanta Class of 1998 and named to the Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowship Class of 2007.   He received his undergraduate degree and Juris Doctor from Howard University, where he received an honorary Doctorate of Laws degree in 2011.   As an attorney, he specialized in entertainment law as a partner of the law firm Holland and Knight, LLP.

The Commencement Convocation will be held Saturday, May 12 at the Seventh-Day Adventist Worship and Convention Center, 514 Neeses Highway in Orangeburg, starting at 11 a.m.  Admission is by ticket only.  For more information, please contact Charlene Slaughter, director of public relations, by phone at (803) 535-5077 or by e-mail at cslaughter@claflin.edu.

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