Feb. 16, 2007 -- Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, a 1983 graduate of the Law School, will deliver the commencement address to the Class of 2007 on the Law School’s Holcombe Green Lawn May 20.
“We are thrilled to have Gov. Napolitano at commencement and are very much anticipating her speech,” said Student Bar Association President Adam Wolk. The SBA’s graduation committee is responsible for finding the graduation speaker. “She is a strong and exciting politician and leader, and a great role model for Virginia Law grads.”
Since Napolitano took office in 2003, she erased a billion-dollar deficit without raising taxes or cutting funds for public schools. As governor, Napolitano has made education one of the key issues in her administration, and has started to phase in voluntary full-day kindergarten. She has also reformed the state’s Child Protective Services. Napolitano helped create the Arizona Counter-Terrorism Information Center, a multi-agency intelligence fusion center that tracks and shares critical data.
Napolitano spearheaded an effort to create a new medical school in the Phoenix area. Her prescription-discount plan, the Copper Card, saves Arizona seniors $100,000 a week, and her administration expanded the state’s group health insurance plan to include more individuals and small businesses.
Napolitano is the current chair of the National Governors Association — the first female governor and first governor of Arizona ever to serve in that position. In 2005, Time magazine named her one of the five best governors in the United States.
Prior to her election as governor, she served one term as Arizona attorney general and four years as a U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona. Born in New York City and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Napolitano is a graduate of Santa Clara University. She has lived in Arizona since 1983, when she moved to Phoenix to practice law.
• Reported by Mary Wood