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Gov. John Bel Edwards to speak at Spring 2019 Commencement

Published April 26, 2019

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards will be the keynote speaker at the University of Louisiana Monroe’s Spring 2019 Commencement on Saturday, May 11, 2019. The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. in Fant-Ewing Coliseum. 

Gov. John Bel Edwards

 "We are honored that Gov. John Bel Edwards has agreed to be our commencement speaker for our May ceremony," said ULM President Dr. Nick J. Bruno. "We make every effort to have a distinguished speaker at each of our commencement ceremonies to share their individual perspectives and knowledge to our graduates as they begin their professional careers. Gov. Edwards has been a champion for all of education."

Edwards was sworn in as the 56th governor of Louisiana on Jan. 11, 2016.
He was born the seventh of eight children to Sheriff Frank Jr. and Dora Jean Edwards, a Charity Hospital nurse. He grew up hunting and fishing in the town of Amite in Tangipahoa Parish.
Edwards graduated at the top of his class at Amite High School and went on to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point. As a cadet, Edwards served as vice-chairman of the panel that enforces the West Point Honor Code. The governor graduated from West Point in 1988, commissioning as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He subsequently completed Ranger School and served as an active duty Airborne Ranger for eight years. 
He and First Lady Donna Edwards began dating while students at Amite High School. They married in 1989 and have three children, Samantha Bel, Sarah Ellen, and John Miller. 

Edwards retired from the U.S. Army with the rank of captain after commanding a parachute infantry regiment in the 82nd Airborne. After returning home, he earned a law degree from Louisiana State University and opened a civil law practice in his hometown of Amite. 

Edwards was elected by the people of House District 72 to the Louisiana House of Representatives in 2008 and served eight years. He was then elected as governor of Louisiana in November 2015.