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Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards will be Fall 2018 Commencement speaker

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Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards will be the featured speaker at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Fall 2018 Commencement ceremony.

The General Assembly will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 14, at the Cajundome.

Edwards was sworn in as the state’s 56th governor in January 2016.

His leadership has helped reverse an almost decade-long trend of budget cuts that resulted in the largest shift in revenue sources for higher education in state history. The Louisiana Legislature hasn’t cut higher education funding for the past two years.

The governor marked the start of a special legislative session in May with an address at UL Lafayette. That event replaced the customary joint session address in the state’s capitol.

The special legislative session – the second in 2018 – addressed fiscal challenges Louisiana faced.

In 2008, Edwards was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives. He served for eight years until he became governor. He was House minority leader for three years.

Edwards earned a degree in engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1988. He served in the U.S. Army as an Airborne Ranger on active duty and commanded a rifle company in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

After earning a law degree from LSU’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center, he established a civil practice in Amite, La., his hometown.

Edwards is married to Donna Hutto Edwards. They have three children: Samantha Bel, Sarah Ellen and John Miller.

Learn more about Fall 2018 Commencement at commencement.louisiana.edu.

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