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U.S. Representative Brian Higgins to be Commencement speaker
Tuesday, April 16, 2013

U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins will be the featured speaker at SUNY Fredonia’s 2013 Commencement, slated for Saturday, May 18. Two ceremonies combining bachelors, master’s and advanced certificate graduates will be held at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. in the university’s Steele Hall arena.

Congressman Higgins is a fourth term member of the United States House of Representatives, serving citizens of New York’s 26th Congressional District, including portions of Erie and Niagara counties.

Until recently, Congressman Higgins’ district also encompassed Chautauqua County. In this role, he secured financial support for SUNY Fredonia’s Business Technology Incubator. Congressman Higgins has also been a champion of waterfront development in Buffalo and led the fight for a $279 million settlement from the New York Power Authority that is now financing a major transformation of Buffalo's Inner and Outer Harbors.

Commencement will also be a family celebration honoring John H. Higgins, Congressman Higgins’ son, who is graduating from Fredonia during the morning ceremony with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Music Business.

SUNY Fredonia President Virginia S. Horvath noted, “It's an honor for SUNY Fredonia to welcome Rep. Higgins as our Commencement speaker. He is an enthusiastic advocate for the people of Western New York, and his support of our campus and the Business Technology Incubator has been critical to our success. Because his son, John, is a member of this graduating class, Rep. Higgins has special insights for these graduates and their families.”

For the 113th Congress, Congressman Higgins was appointed to the House Committee on Homeland Security and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, where he aims to position the Western New York border community in the forefront of national discussions and help to advance the Peace Bridge project and improve border operations to strengthen economic ties with Canada. His appointment to the Committee on Foreign Affairs is timely given the existing conflicts in the Middle East and ongoing relations with China whose currency policies deeply affect the American economy.

Formerly a member of the Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee for National Security, Emerging Threats, and International Relations, Congressman Higgins has traveled extensively through some of the most volatile regions in the world and has met with world leaders to promote peace in Northern Ireland, the Middle East, South Asia and Africa, including Darfur, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Congressman Higgins was an instructor in the History and Economics departments at SUNY Buffalo State College, where he earned his undergraduate degree in Political Science. He also earned an advanced degree in Public Policy and Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

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