Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) will deliver the keynote speech and receive an honorary doctorate in Public Service at the College’s Charter Day celebration Feb. 10. Hagel has been mentioned as a possible contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, but has not officially declared his candidacy. The Charter Day ceremony marks the 314th anniversary of the royal charter from King William III and Queen Mary II which established the College.
Hagel, first elected to the Senate in 1996, is best known for his work on foreign affairs and has been an outspoken critic of the handling of the war in Iraq, comparing it to the Vietnam War and calling for a phased troop withdrawal. According to a Dec. 14, 2006 USA Today/Gallup poll, Hagel is favored by only 1 percent of Republican voters for the 2008 presidential nomination. He is a member of the Foreign Relations; Intelligence; Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; and Rules committees.
“Few have given more of themselves, or served our nation more thoughtfully, than Senator Chuck Hagel. We look forward to hearing from him and to the opportunity to recognize his exemplary career,” President Gene Nichol said.
Before joining the Senate, Hagel had a long career in business and government, serving as president of the investment bank McCarthy & Co. and Deputy Administrator of the Veterans Administration under President Reagan. He was a sergeant in the U.S. Army and served in the Vietnam War, where he was awarded two Purple Hearts.
Hagel will be joined by A Marshall Acuff, Jr. ‘62 and JoAnn Falletta, who will also receive honorary degrees. Marshall Acuff is a former rector of the College and currently serves as president of AMA Investment Counsel. He is a former senior vice president and managing director at Smith Barney, a division of Citigroup, Inc., where he became Wall Street’s first designated portfolio strategist.
JoAnn Faletta is the Grammy nominated music director of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. The New York Times called her “one of the finest conductors of her generation.” She has guest conducted over 100 symphonies around the world and participated in the recording of more than 40 CDs.
The Charter Day ceremony will take place Feb. 10 at 10 a.m. in Phi Beta Kappa Hall. Tickets are required.