West Virginia 1st District Congressman Alan B. Mollohan will address West Virginia University graduates and receive an honorary degree during 2003 commencement ceremonies at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 18, at the Coliseum, University officials announced today (March 25).


“We are honored to have as our 134th commencement speaker a man whose hard work and vision have helped to make West Virginia University one of the countrys leading higher education institutions,”said WVU President David C. Hardesty Jr.”His dedication and service to not only WVU , but the entire 1st District, are a shining example for our graduates.”


Hardesty said the University is fortunate to have a congressman with such senior standing working for it in Washington.


“Congressman Mollohans position on the committee that determines the funding for thousands of government programs and his strong support of federal investments in research bodes well for WVU ,”Hardesty said.”Furthermore, he serves on the newly created Department of Homeland Security subcommittee. In a time when our nation is at war, it is important to have a West Virginia lawmaker looking out for our nations security. We look forward to his insight and perspective in the days ahead.”


From his ability to secure federal dollars as a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee to his efforts to diversify the states economic base through high-tech initiatives like the Institute for Scientific Research and the West Virginia High Tech Consortium Foundation, the Fairmont Democrat has played a significant role in the Universitys growth over the past two decades.


Of his selection as graduation speaker, Mollohan said,”For almost as long as West Virginia has been a state, West Virginia University has been working to help meet the needs and aspirations of its citizens by providing a quality, yet affordable education to generations of students, delivering vital extension services to every corner of the state, developing advanced medical technologies to help our people lead longer, healthier lives, and conducting research relevant to the growth of our industries, both traditional and emerging. I am flattered to be asked to speak during this years graduation ceremony.”


Mollohan launched his first bid for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982. He was sworn in the following January as a member of the 98th Congress and has been reelected to each successive Congress.


He currently serves on three of 13 subcommittees that make up the House Appropriations Committee.


He is”Ranking Minority Member”�€the top Democrat �€on the subcommittee that funds the departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, as well as several independent agencies such as NASA , EPA and the National Science Foundation.


Mollohan also is a member of the subcommittee that funds the departments of Commerce, Justice and State, the Federal Judiciary and numerous related agencies. The FBI and U.S. Small Business Administration are among those under the subcommittees jurisdiction.


He is a graduate of the College of William and Mary and WVU s College of Law.