Senator Lamar Alexander to be Spring 2011 Commencement Speaker

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander will be Bethel University’s Commencement Speaker for the school’s spring 2011 Commencement on May 7, 2011.
     Sen. Alexander chairs the Senate Republican Conference and serves on committees overseeing education, clean air, highways, science, appropriations and the Tennessee Valley Authority. He is the only Tennessean ever popularly elected both governor and U.S. Senator.
     Furthermore, Sen. Alexander has been U.S. Education Secretary, University of Tennessee president, and professor at Harvard 's School of Government. He chaired the National Governors’ Association and President Ronald Reagan's Commission on Americans Outdoors. In private life, he helped found the nation’s largest provider of worksite day care.
     In his campaign for governor, Alexander walked 1,000 miles across Tennessee in his now famous red and black plaid shirt. Once elected, he helped Tennessee become the third largest auto producer and the first state to pay teachers more for teaching well.
     Sen. Alexander is a classical and country pianist and the author of seven books, including Six Months Off, the story of his family’s life in Australia after he was governor.
     He is married to Honey Buhler, and they have four children and four grandchildren.  He is a Presbyterian elder.
     More than 360 students are scheduled to graduate during Bethel’s spring commencement. The ceremony begins at 11 a.m. at Wildcat Football Stadium at the school’s McKenzie campus. Seating of guests begins at 9 a.m. Commencement will be moved to Dishman Gymnasium in the case of inclement weather.