Senator Bill Bradley to Speak at UW Commencement

United States Senator Bill Bradley will be the principal speaker at the University's 121st Commencement ceremony held Saturday, June 8, in Hec Edmundson Pavilion.

Bradley, the senior U.S. senator from New Jersey, will speak at both graduation ceremonies on the Seattle campus. The first is at 10 a.m. for arts, humanities and social sciences majors in the College of Arts and Sciences. The second ceremony starts at 2:30 p.m. for graduates of the UW's other colleges and for science majors from the College of Arts and Sciences.

This year the UW expects to graduate about 9,000 students from its undergraduate, graduate and professional programs. Graduation rates are rising slightly for undergraduates as the UW has streamlined its requirements and is offering more classes in high-demand subjects.

The UW Tacoma Commencement takes place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 5, in the Tacoma Dome. The guest speaker is former Tacoma mayor Harold Moss. The UW Bothell Commencement will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 9, in the Meydenbauer Center,11100 N.E. 6th St., Bellevue. The guest speaker is former U.S. Ambassador John W. McDonald.

Bradley, a Democrat, was elected to his third term in 1990. Last August, he announced he would not seek re-election. In making his announcement, Bradley observed that the political debate had settled into familiar ruts, with the Republicans infatuated with the "magic" of the private sector and Democrats preaching government as the answer to society's problems. "Neither party speaks to people where they live their lives," he said. "Both have moved away from my own concept of service and my own vision of what America can be."

Bradley, 52, is the author of three books, Life on the Run (1976), The Fair Tax (1982), and Time Present, Time Past (1996). The first book was about his 10 years as a professional basketball player with the New York Knicks, 1967-76. His second book helped popularize the ideas that eventually became the Tax Reform Act of 1986, which lowered tax rates and eliminated loopholes. His most recent book is about his 16 years in the Senate.

In Time Present, Time Past, Bradley explains his decision to leave the Senate: "I love the life of a senator. Even on its bad days, it's the greatest elective job in the world. Yet the Senate is not the only place to serve. I believe it is essential to try to reconnect people to the political process--but, for now, from outside the process. It will not be easy, but I think it needs to be done," he wrote.

Bradley graduated from Princeton University in 1965 with honors in American history. He was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University, where he earned a graduate degree after studying politics, philosophy, and economics.

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