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Attorney General Dustin McDaniel to address record graduating class at spring commencement May 12


Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel will deliver the commencement address to a school record spring class of more than 2,000 candidates at Arkansas State University’s two commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 12, in the Convocation Center, 217 Olympic Drive.

Dr. Tim Hudson, chancellor of the university, will present diplomas. The morning ceremony is at 10 a.m. for the Colleges of Agriculture, Business, Engineering, Fine Arts, Nursing and Health Professions, and Sciences and Mathematics. Beginning at 2:30 p.m., graduates from the Colleges of Communications, Education, Humanities and Social Sciences, and University College will receive diplomas.

“At commencement we celebrate the excellent achievements of our students and take time to recognize the essential roles of staff, faculty, family and friends in helping the dreams of these new alumni come true,” said Chancellor Hudson.

Dustin McDaniel is serving his second term as the state’s attorney general after being re-elected in 2011. He was a uniformed patrol officer with the Jonesboro Police Department prior to entering law school. Upon graduation, he practiced law at his family’s law practice, McDaniel and Wells in Jonesboro, before being elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives in 2004.

Since becoming attorney general, his Consumer Protection Division has recovered more than $8.5 million for consumers. In March 2012, he launched the “Got Your Back, Arkansas” initiative and GotYourBackArkansas.org to equip Arkansans with the information needed to navigate the consumer marketplace and avoid scams and fraud.

Also under his direction, the state secured its largest-ever settlement with a pharmaceutical company, $18.5 million, to settle allegations concerning improper marketing claims.  That money has been used for several public health and consumer education programs, such as “Save the Children,” which provides emergency aid and nutrition assistance.

In February 2012, the attorney general joined 49 states and the federal government in a landmark $26 billion settlement with the nation’s five largest banks over allegations of fraud and abuse within the mortgage servicing industry.

As Arkansas’s chief law enforcement officer, McDaniel created the state’s “Leads on Labs” program and a Cyber Crimes Unit, which is dedicated to finding, capturing and prosecuting those who exploit and harm children.

A native Arkansan, McDaniel was born in Fayetteville, grew up in Jonesboro, and attended public school there.  He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and received his law degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Bowen School of Law.

Following the graduation ceremonies, a reception will be held on the north mezzanine.  Punch and cookies will be served.

ASU’s commencement may be viewed online. A broadband connection (384k or greater) is required. To view the video stream, Windows users can open the file URL mms://streamer.astate.edu/asutv by using Windows Media Player.  Those using Macintosh computers can use Quicktime and open the file URL at mss://streamer.astate.edu/asutv. Windows Media Components for Quicktime (by Flip4Mac), located at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/player/wmcomponents.mspx, will need to be installed.

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Pictured: Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel