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Former Va. senator Webb will speak at Final Exercises

The University announced Thursday that former U.S. Senator Jim Webb (D-Va.) will deliver the commencement address at the 184th Final Exercises May 19.

University President Teresa Sullivan selected Webb from recommendations made by a joint committee of students and faculty members.

Webb is a former Secretary of the Navy, decorated Vietnam veteran, journalist, filmmaker and author. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1968, served with the Fifth Marine Regiment in Vietnam and was awarded the Navy Cross, the Silver Star Medal, two Bronze Star Medals and two Purple Hearts during his career. He received a law degree from Georgetown University in 1975.

Webb began his six-year term as Senator in 2007 and shortly thereafter introduced the comprehensive “GI Bill for the 21st Century” — a bill that increased educational benefits for those who have been serving in the military since 9/11. Within a year he had helped shepherd the most significant veterans legislation since World War II through Congress.

Webb is a celebrated writer, having authored nine books, including “Fields of Fire” and “A Time to Fight.” He was a writer and executive-producer of the 2000 film “Rules of Engagement,” starring Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson.