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By Selena Stevens

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Congresswoman Slaughter earned her bachelor's degree in microbiology from UK in 1951 and her master's degree in public health from UK in 1953.  She is in her seventh term representing New York's 28th Congressional District.

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April 19, 2000 – (Lexington, Ky.) – United States Congresswoman and University of Kentucky alumna Louise McIntosh Slaughter will be the speaker at the university’s 133rd commencement at 10 a.m. Sunday, May 7, in Memorial Coliseum.

Slaughter, a native of Harlan County, Ky., now living in Fairport, N.Y., earned a bachelor’s degree in microbiology from UK in 1951 and a master’s degree in public health from UK in 1953. In her seventh term representing New York’s 28th Congressional District in the House of Representatives, she is often described as one of the most powerful women in Congress. She sits on the influential House Rules Commission and its Subcommittee on Rules and Organization of the House. She is vice chairwoman and whip-at-large of the Research Committee of the Democratic leadership and serves as chair of the Congressional Caucus on Women’s Issues.

In her 12 years in the House, Slaughter has especially championed the issues of health care, children and women. As a bacteriologist, she is intensely involved in health issues – from cancer education to the inclusion of women and minorities in health trials.  She has introduced legislation that would increase the availability and affordability of quality before- and after-school child care for working families. Concerned with the mistaken notion colorectal cancer is a “man’s disease,” she has launched a nationwide education and prevention program on the nation’s No. 2 cancer killer. She also has won historic increases in funding for women’s health research and passed legislation to establish the Women’s Rights National Historic Trail that begins with a route between Boston and Buffalo, N.Y.

Slaughter serves with the Commission on the Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission. The commission is the American delegation to the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Her awards include the 1999 Lay Educator of the Year Award given by the Rochester Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, the professional society for men and women in education; the 1998 Award for Outstanding Congressional Arts Leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives from the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Americans for the Arts; the 1998 International Health Awareness Network Recognition Award for her lifelong commitment to women’s equality; and the 1992 House Legislator of the Year Award from the Vietnam Veterans of America.

Prior to entering Congress, she served in the Monroe County, N.Y., Legislature; as regional coordinator to Mario Cuomo during his terms as secretary of state and lieutenant governor, and in the New York Assembly.

This year, there are 5,682 candidates for degrees at UK, including 3,634 for bachelor’s degrees, 1,316 for master’s degrees, 368 for professional degrees and 364 for doctoral degrees.  There are 232 students graduating summa cum laude, 309 magna cum laude and 391 cum laude.

Honorary degrees will be given to Ward O. Griffen and James F. Hardymon.  Griffen, the former chairperson of UK’s Department of Surgery and executive director and secretary-treasurer of the American Board of Surgery, is director of the Self Examination and Self Assessment Program, an American College of Surgeons’ post-graduate education program. Hardymon, former chief executive officer of the Fortune 500 company Textron and former UK Board of Trustees member, earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering at UK in 1956 and 1958 respectively.

Azadeh Shirazi, a biology major from Lexington, will speak on behalf of the Class of 2000.

President Charles T. Wethington Jr. will present three Algernon Sydney Sullivan Medallions, which go to a male graduate, a female graduate and a non-student who have shown a spirit of helpfulness to others.

This year’s winners are graduating seniors George Randall Lawson, a social work major from Lexington, and Kasey Buckles, a Spanish and foreign languages and international economics major from Elizabethtown.  The non-student winner is Doris Rosenbaum, a Lexington advocate of breast cancer legislation, research and education.

The William B. Sturgill Award will be presented to an outstanding member of the graduate faculty.  The Albert D. and Elizabeth Kirwan Memorial Prize for original and creative research will be given to a full-time faculty member.

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