“It is a privilege to be asked to speak to North Dakota’s next generation of leaders,” Conrad said. “Commencement is all about celebrating graduate’s accomplishments and embracing the next exciting phase of their lives. I’m looking forward to playing a small part in that celebration.”
Conrad, a Democrat, has represented North Dakota in the U.S. Senate since 1986. He plans to retire from Congress when his term ends in 2012.
“We are extremely pleased and proud that Senator Kent Conrad will deliver the commencement address at the University of North Dakota this May,” UND President Robert Kelley said in a statement. “This is an honor for us. Senator Conrad has been a strong supporter of higher education and the University of North Dakota for many years.”
Conrad is well-known for his expertise on budget and fiscal issues. He currently serves as the Senate Budget Committee chairman.
“Just as the ‘Greatest Generation’ left us a better world than the one they inherited, it is incumbent upon our generation to leave the next generations a world full of optimism and opportunity, rather than one of deficits, debt and decline,” Conrad said. “The graduates of 2011 and subsequent classes deserve at least that much.”
UND’s Spring Commencement Ceremony will be held May 14 at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks.