Sen. John Boozman to Serve as 2016 Spring Commencement Speaker
JONESBORO – United States Senator John Boozman will serve as the speaker for the Spring 2016 Commencement at Arkansas State University, Chancellor Tim Hudson announced this week.
Arkansas State’s Spring 2016 Commencement ceremonies are at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 14, at the Convocation Center.
The senior senator for the state of Arkansas, Boozman chairs three subcommittees and serves on five committees in the 114th Congress: Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry; Appropriations; Environment and Public Works; Rules; and Veterans’ Affairs. He was instrumental in recent years in assisting Arkansas State’s ROTC to remain active. The Red Wolf Battalion celebrates its 80th anniversary this fall.
“It is an honor for us to host Sen. Boozman and to have him address our graduates,” Hudson said. “As his committee assignments reflect, Sen. Boozman has a keen appreciation of the core areas of this university. We are working on collaborative ways through agricultural research to lift up the Delta, and to build innovative public-private partnerships to enhance our historic role as the leading institution of higher education within this part of the Mid-South.”
Raised in Fort Smith, Boozman graduated from Northside High School and went on to play football for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks while completing his pre-optometry requirements. He graduated from the Southern College of Optometry in 1977 and entered private practice that same year, co-founding a family business with his brother that would ultimately become a major provider of eye care to Northwest Arkansas.
Prior to serving in the Senate, Boozman represented the people of the Third District of Arkansas in the U.S. House of Representatives for five terms where he established a reputation as an advocate for Arkansas, especially the state’s veterans, for whom he passed legislation to improve the transition to civilian life, expand treatments for our wounded warriors and modernize educational benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill.
Prior to his election to Congress, he served two terms on the Rogers School Board, which is one of the largest school districts in the state. He established the low-vision program at the Arkansas School for the Blind in Little Rock and worked as a volunteer optometrist at an area clinic that provides medical services to low-income families. Boozman successfully raised Polled Hereford cattle that were competitive in the show ring, as well as in bull testing at Oklahoma State University.
Boozman, 65, is married to the former Cathy Marley and they currently reside in Rogers. The couple has three daughters and two granddaughters.