Sen. Gordon Smith to speak at commencement

Sen. Gordon Smith to speak at commencement

U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith will address the 230 graduates of the Lewis & Clark Law School on Saturday, May 19, at 11 a.m., in Griswold Stadium. If it rains, commencement will take place in Pamplin Sports Center.

Smith is a member of four major Senate committees: energy and natural resources; foreign relations; budget; and commerce, science and transportation.

He is particularly interested in education, health care and natural resources and worked to raise the contribution limits for education savings accounts. He has taken the lead to increase funding for Federal Pell Grants, early childhood development and students with disabilities. He also has worked to strengthen the Oregon Forest Practices Act, Beach Bill, Oregon Plan for Salmon and Oregon Resource Protections Act.

Smith chairs the Energy and Natural Resources, Water and Power Subcommittee; Foreign Relations European Affairs Subcommittee; and Commerce Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marines. And he cochairs the Senate Task Force on Medicare and Prescription Drugs, which is charged with developing a plan to ensure the solvency of Medicare and to create an affordable prescription drug plan for senior citizens. Senate leaders have twice selected him deputy whip.

Before entering state and national politics, Smith practiced law in New Mexico and managed his family’s frozen food business in Pendleton. Oregon voters elected him to the state Senate in 1992, where he served as minority leader and Senate president.

“He is widely admired among colleagues of both parties for his principled but open-minded approach to divisive issues,” says James Huffman, dean of the law school.

“He is an effective advocate for Oregon and a strong friend and supporter of the College.”

He earned his bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and his law degree from Southwestern University.