U.S. Congressman Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland’s Seventh District will be the keynote speaker for Claflin University’s 2013 Spring Convocation on Thursday, Jan. 24.
The Convocation signals the beginning of the 2013 spring semester. The public is encouraged and invited to attend the event, which will begin at 11 a.m. in the Tullis Arena of the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Physical Education Center.
Cummings has been a member of the U.S. House of Representatives since 1996 when he won a special election to fill the unexpired term of incumbent Kweisi Mfume, who resigned to become president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Cummings emerged as the eventual winner from a field of 32 candidates. He represents a highly urban district with a largely African-American population that includes many economically depraved neighborhoods.
He is a graduate of the University of Maryland Law School and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Howard University. Cummings had a private law practice until his election to Congress.
Cummings was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1983, representing the southern part of West Baltimore. He was quickly chosen by his peers there as chairman of the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus. In addition, he became first African-American to be elected speaker pro tempore, the second highest position in the Maryland House of Delegates.
Maryland’s Seventh Congressional District covers half of Baltimore and most of Howard County. In Congress, he serves on the Transportation and Infrastructure and Oversight and Government Reform Committees.
Born and raised in Baltimore, the 61-year-old is chairman of the Maritime for Primary and Second Education Coalition, a member of the U.S. Naval Academy Board of Visitors, the Morgan State University Board of Regents, the Baltimore Aquarium Board of Trustees and the Baltimore Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors. Cummings has received seven honorary doctoral degrees.
He is married to Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings and has one daughter, Jennifer.