UDC News

UDC Commencement Website

April 15, 2009


Vernon Jordan, Jr. Will Deliver the 2009 Commencement Address
for the University of the District of Columbia

Washington, D.C. – Vernon E. Jordan Jr., one of the major civil rights figures in American history, will deliver the keynote address and receive an honorary degree at the 2009 commencement of the University of the District of Columbia. Mr. Jordan will receive the honorary doctor of laws. He will be joined by fellow recipient Edward L. Loper, Sr., a renowned painter and teacher, who will receive the honorary doctor of humane letters. The commencement will be held May 9 at the E. Washington Convention Center. The ceremony will begin at 10 am.

Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. is known worldwide for his work in the civil rights, business, legal and political arenas. He is a director of Lazard Ltd and Lazard Group, one of the world's preeminent financial advisory and asset management firms. He also serves as senior counsel at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. He previously held positions such as the president and chief executive officer of the National Urban League, Inc.; executive director of the United Negro College Fund; attorney-consultant at the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity; and Georgia field director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He also serves on the board of directors of Xerox Corporation and Asbury Automotive Group, Inc. and serves as a senior advisor to the American Express Board of Directors.

Some of Mr. Jordan’s presidential appointments include: the President's Advisory Committee for the Points of Light Initiative Foundation; the Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on South Africa; the Presidential Clemency Board; the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission; the National Advisory Committee on Selective Service; and the Council of the White House Conference "To Fulfill These Rights." Mr. Jordan served as the chairman of the Clinton Presidential Transition Team in 1992.

A graduate of Depauw University and the Howard University School of Law, Mr. Jordan is the author of Vernon Can Read! and Make It Plain: Standing Up and Speaking Out.

Edward L. Loper, Sr. is recognized nationwide as a painter and teacher. Since he became an artist in the 1930’s, his paintings and drawings have appeared in some of the world’s most prestigious art museums. Mr. Loper’s works have appeared in exhibitions and among collections at The Smithsonian Museum’s National Gallery of Art and American Art Museum; The Corcoran Gallery of Art; The Philadelphia Museum of Art; The Delaware Museum of Art; The Museum of African American Art (Tampa); and The Museum of American Art at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. His works are also in the Howard University Gallery of Art and the Clark-Atlanta University Collection of African American Art. His works have also been exhibited at the Michael Rosenfeld Gallery in New York. His works have appeared alongside other famous painters like Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, Sam Gilliam, and Henry Ossawa Tanner.



The University of the District of Columbia is the only fully-accredited public source of accessible, inclusive, affordable, and comprehensive public higher education in the District of Columbia. The University, an urban land grant institution, is a diverse community, a gateway to the world, and a significant economic engine for the District of Columbia. The University is located at 4200 Connecticut Ave, NW Washington, and is conveniently located at the Van Ness/UDC stop on the Red Line of Metro.

Jackie Boynton, Assistant Vice President of Marketing, Communications, & Alumni Relations, jboynton@udc.edu or 202.997.7161