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Former Congressman Lee Hamilton To Speak At Indiana University's 2016 Baccalaureate
Updated April 27, 2016 6:57 AM | Filed under: Education
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(BLOOMINGTON) - Indiana University faculty member and former longtime Indiana congressman Lee Hamilton will speak at this year's Baccalaureate, an interfaith celebration of academic achievement.

The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. May 6 at Whittenberger Auditorium of the Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E. Seventh St. ´╗┐All members of the Class of 2016 and their parents, family and friends are invited to attend. Admission is free, and no registration is required. A brief reception will take place after the ceremony.

Hamilton is a distinguished scholar in the IU School of Global and International Studies and a professor of practice in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. He served for 16 years as director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University, which he founded in 1999. Previously he represented Indiana in Congress for 34 years.

After retiring from Congress, he served as vice chairman of the 9/11 Commission and co-chairman of the Iraq Study Group. He was co-chairman of the Independent Task Force on Immigration and America's Future, which issued a report in 2006 calling for immigration reform. At the Center on Congress, now IU's Center on Representative Government, he has also been a leading advocate for bipartisanship and effective governance.

As an Indiana University faculty member, Hamilton organized and led a September 2011 symposium in which members of the 9/11 Commission met at IU to reflect on the 10-year anniversary of the attacks. He has participated in numerous IU discussions of current issues and writes a regular column on foreign affairs for The Huffington Post and a biweekly newspaper column distributed by the Center on Representative Government.

A Baccalaureate has been held at IU since 1837, and possibly even earlier. In use since at least the eighth century, "baccalaureate" has come to refer not only to a degree that is awarded at commencement but also to a spiritual observance that celebrates achievement and aspiration.

In 2002, a campus-wide committee restructured the traditional Baccalaureate ceremony into an event that recognized the many faith traditions that are represented on the Bloomington campus. The resulting celebration draws from the teachings and practices of the Baha'i faith, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Unitarian Universalism.

A 13-member university committee of campus chaplains, students, faculty, staff and representatives of the major faith traditions has met periodically throughout the year to organize the event. It will feature prayers from different faith traditions as well as times of meditation, music and celebration.

Pay parking for Baccalaureate is available at the Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E. Seventh St.; at the Sixth Street parking garage, which is between Dunn Street and Indiana Avenue; and at the Jordan Avenue parking garage, north of Read Hall at 125 S. Jordan Ave., between Third and Seventh streets.

IU Bloomington's commencement ceremonies will take place May 6 and 7. The graduate commencement ceremony will be at 3 p.m. May 6 in Mellencamp Pavilion, 1001 E. 17th St. Undergraduate commencement will begin at 10 a.m. May 7, outdoors at IU Memorial Stadium, 1001 E. 17th St.

Both commencement events are free and open to the public. Parking is free. Complete information about commencement ceremonies on IU campuses is available on the Office of University Events website.

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