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Commissioner Strain to serve as ULM Commencement speaker May 9

Published April 30, 2015

The University of Louisiana at Monroe’s annual spring Commencement Ceremony will be held at 10 a.m., on Saturday, May 9, in Fant-Ewing Coliseum. Over 770 degrees will be awarded.

Several honor graduates will also be recognized during the ceremony. They are designated as summa cum laude (3.900-4.000), magna cum laude (3.750-3.899) and cum laude (3.500-3.749).


Dr. Mike Strain, commissioner of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry will serve as the ceremony’s keynote speaker.

A native of Covington, Strain earned a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Louisiana State University in 1983. Strain and his wife Susan—also a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine—own and operate the Claiborne Hill Veterinary Hospital in Covington.

In 1999, Strain was elected to the first of two terms as State Representative, where he served on the Agriculture Committee and chaired the Legislative Rural Caucus. He was twice named Legislator of the Year by the St. Tammany Parish Alliance for Good Government. In 2003, the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine presented Strain its Distinguished Alumni Award, and he was inducted into the LSU Alumni Association Hall of Distinction in May 2010.

In August 2009, Strain was awarded the Future Farmers of America’s highest national award, the Honorary American Degree, and was named Conservationist of the Year in January 2012, and Veterinarian of the Year in 2013.

He recently completed terms as president of SUSTA (the Southern United States Trade Association) and SASDA (the Southern Association of State Departments of Agriculture), and is the second vice president of NASDA (National Association of State Departments of Agriculture). He is also the chair of the NASDA Animal and Plant Industries Committee, and he holds a commission from the United States Food and Drug Administration.

Strain took the oath of office for his second four-year term as Louisiana’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry on January 9, 2012.

For those who cannot attend, the live webcast can be found at https://www.ulm.edu/commencement/

Shortly after the conclusion of the event, a full recording of the event will be archived for viewing.

For seating and guest information, visit https://www.ulm.edu/registrar/commencement.html