Senator will deliver speech
Associate News Editor
Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) will deliver the commencement address to the Notre Dame Class of 2003 this Sunday. Lugar currently serves as the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and has been an Indiana senator since 1976.
University officials said that in light of recent events they chose Lugar, who will receive an honorary doctor of laws, as the speaker because of his expertise in the area of foreign affairs.
Lugar, who previously served as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 1984 to 1986, helped create a bipartisan initiative in 1991 with former Senator Sam Nunn to secure and disarm weapons of mass destruction in the former Soviet Union. More recently, Lugar has argued for the expansion of the Nunn-Lugar Program in other countries with weapons of mass destruction.
As chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Lugar has called on the president to provide more detailed information to Congress and the public about planning for American involvement in post-war Iraq.
The senator also served as the mayor of Indianapolis from 1968-75 and oversaw the expansion of the city to include all of Marion County. After graduating from Denison University at the top of his class, Lugar received a Rhodes Scholarship for graduate study in politics, philosophy and economics at Oxford University.
Lugar follows other commencement speakers who have been involved in politics and foreign affairs, such as President George Bush and U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan who spoke in 2002 and 2001 respectively.
However, some seniors were concerned that this year's commencement speaker was not as prestigious as previous speakers.
"A lot of my friends and I were a little disappointed," said senior Kristin Baranack.
Senior Matthew Teubner said he was not very familiar with Lugar but looked forward to the senator's talk. "I don't really know too much about the senator himself. I was maybe expecting a little higher profile speaker," he said. "I think he'll do a good job."
Despite concerns about Lugar's name recognition, some said Lugar's talk would be relevant in light of current events.
"I think he's got a lot of expertise in international affairs," said senior Trip Foley.
All News Stories for Friday, July 11, 2003