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Orlando, Fla. – United States Congressman Alcee Hastings, who represents the 20th District of Florida, will keynote the Tenth Annual Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law Hooding Ceremony on May 10, 2014. The event will take place at 10 a.m., at the Hilton Orlando, 6001 Destination Parkway, near International Drive.
"We are honored to have a true trailblazer for equality address our tenth graduating class since the re-establishment of the FAMU College of Law," said Dean LeRoy Pernell. "It is indeed fitting that one of our own return for this milestone observance of a revered occasion."
Congressman Hastings is currently serving his 11th term in Congress, representing parts of Broward, Palm Beach and Hendry Counties. With an undergraduate degree from Fisk University, he became one of the 57 original graduates of the College of Law when it was located in Tallahassee on FAMU's main campus, earning his law degree in 1963. Appointed by President Jimmy Carter in 1979, he became the first African-American Federal Judge in the State of Florida, and served in that position for ten years. Since his election to Congress as the first African-American from Florida since the post-Civil War period, Congressman Hastings has been an outspoken advocate for Floridians and the nation as a whole. Throughout his lifetime as an attorney, civil rights activist, judge, and now Member of Congress, he has championed the rights of minorities, women, the elderly, children and immigrants.
In the 113th Congress, Mr. Hastings' legislative priorities include continued efforts to create jobs and provide greater economic opportunities for middle class and working poor Americans; make our country safer and more secure; ensure that our election systems are easier and more fair; support small businesses; invest in green energy and infrastructure; increase access to quality, affordable health care for all; ban assault weapons; fund Head Start and other education programs; strengthen and improve Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid; protect the environment and pursue environmental justice; and provide family and medical leave to all workers. Furthermore, known throughout the world as an expert in foreign policy, Mr. Hastings continues to advocate for diplomacy before military action to settle disputes with established and emerging nations.
Congressman Hastings will address the spring 2014 candidates, who will have the juris doctor degree conferred in Tallahassee, Florida, at the University's Commencement Exercises on May 3, 2014. The Hooding Ceremony will recognize more than 140 candidates, including the fall 2013, spring 2014, and summer 2014 graduating classes.
The FAMU College of Law’s Hooding Ceremony is a public event; however, seating is limited, and there is a parking fee at the Hilton Orlando.
Additional information on the Hooding Ceremony will be made available as the event approaches. For more information on Congressman Hastings, please visit http://alceehastings.house.gov/
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The FAMU College of Law was founded in 1949 on the main campus in Tallahassee. After graduating 57 lawyers, the law school was closed by the state of Florida in 1968. The Florida Legislature voted to reopen the law school in 2000 and Orlando was selected as the location. The re-established FAMU College of Law opened its doors in 2002 and is now housed in a state-of-the-art facility in downtown Orlando’s Parramore neighborhood. The FAMU College of Law received full accreditation from the American Bar Association in July 2009, and is ranked number one in the nation for Diversity by U.S. News & World Report.