ECSU holds 144th commencement on May 5

Kesha Williams
April 25, 2007

ecsu-holds-144th-commence Elizabeth City State University will hold its Spring Commencement at 9 a.m., on May 5 at Roebuck Stadium with U. S. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) as its keynote speaker. In the event of rain, the commencement will be held in the R.L. Vaughan Center. Rep. Cummings was first sworn in to the United States House of Representatives in April 1996 and now in his seventh term in Congress representing Maryland's Seventh Congressional District. Rep. Cummings strongly supports the agenda of the 110th Congress, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a daughter of Baltimore, and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a member of the Maryland delegation. Rep. Cummings is a sponsor of initiatives to secure our homeland, increase access to college, promote sound health care policy, protect workers' rights, end global warming, and provide seniors with affordable prescription drugs. Additionally, Rep. Cummings has made it a priority during his tenure in Congress to ensure that all children have access to a high quality education, specifically through the reauthorization and full funding of the No Child Left Behind Act. Rep. Cummings is a senior member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and serves on the Committee's Subcommittee on Highways and Transit and the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials. He is the Chairman of the Committee's Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, which is responsible for overseeing the operations of the U.S. Coast Guard and for setting policy priorities for all aspects of maritime transportation in the United States. As Chairman, Rep. Cummings oversees the implementation of the Coast Guard's $8 billion fiscal year 2007 budget, including the more than $1.1 billion appropriated to fund the rehabilitation and modernization of the Coast Guard's fleet through the Deepwater procurement program. Further, Rep. Cummings has made it a priority to ensure that the Coast Guard can balance its critical homeland security missions with its other crucial missions, including interdicting drugs before they reach America's shores and conducting search and rescue missions. Importantly, the subcommittee is also working to strengthen maritime transportation. The U.S. Maritime Administration estimates that the total volume of trade handled by U.S. ports will double in the next 15 years. To prepare the nation to handle such cargo growth, the subcommittee is assessing how U.S. ports can be more fully integrated into a multi-modal transportation network. Rep. Cummings also serves as a senior member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and is a member of the Committee's Subcommittee on Domestic Policy and Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, Post Office and the District of Columbia. As such, Rep. Cummings participates in investigations into waste, fraud and abuse in government contracting, including the nearly $3.5 billion in questioned and unsupported costs in Iraq. It is his objective to ensure that our government runs as effectively and efficiently as possible, and that government officials are good stewards of taxpayer dollars. Rep. Cummings also conducts oversight of the federal workforce, which includes many residents of the Seventh District of Maryland. Rep. Cummings continues the work he began as a Ranking Member of the now defunct Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources. In that capacity, he oversaw the reauthorization of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, or the Drug Czar's office, and was an outspoken voice for fair, treatment-based solutions to the country's drug problems, as well as for increased and comprehensive oversight of our nation's clinical laboratory inspection process. In the 110th Congress, Rep. Cummings was also appointed to the House Committee on Armed Services, and serves on the Committee's Subcommittee on Readiness. Together with his service as Chairman of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee, Rep. Cummings' membership on the House Armed Services Committee gives him the opportunity to represent the interests of his constituents and indeed of the entire nation regarding the whole range of critical threats that confront our homeland. Rep. Cummings has consistently opposed the war in Iraq and voted against the legislation that authorized the invasion of Iraq. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Cummings is focused on demanding accountability from the Bush Administration regarding the conduct of the war in Iraq and in Afghanistan, and on exercising oversight over the current strategies being executed in both conflicts. He is also deeply concerned about the impact that extended and repeated deployments have had on our military's ability to respond to emerging threats both at home and abroad. Rep. Cummings is a former Chair and current member of the Congressional Black Caucus. In addition to his standing committee assignments, Rep. Cummings is a member of the House Task Force on Health Care Reform, and a member of the Get-out-of-Iraq, Progressive and Port Security Caucuses. Prior to his service in the Congress, Mr. Cummings served in the Maryland House of Delegates for 16 years. In the Maryland General Assembly, he served as Chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus and was the first African American in Maryland history to be named Speaker Pro Tem, the second highest position in the House of Delegates. Born on January 18, 1951, Rep. Cummings graduated with honors from Baltimore City College High School in 1969. He attended Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he served as Sophomore Class President, Student Government Treasurer and Student Government President. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1973 with a degree in Political Science. Mr. Cummings then graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1976 and was admitted to the Maryland Bar in December, 1976. He practiced law for nineteen years before entering Congress. Rep. Cummings serves on numerous boards and commissions including the United States Naval Academy Board of Visitors, the Maryland Zoo Board of Trustees, the Baltimore Aquarium Board of Trustees, the Institute of Human Virology Board of Directors, the Baltimore Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors and the Yale-Howard Nursing Partnership Center to Reduce Health Disparities by Self and Family Management Advisory Committee. In addition to his many speaking engagements, he writes a bi-weekly column for the Baltimore Afro-American newspaper and in 2006, he was a contributing columnist for Black America Web's special series, "The State of Black America." An active member of New Psalmist Baptist Church, Rep. Cummings lives in the Madison Park community in Baltimore City.