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US Representative Jo Ann Emerson to Speak at OWU Commencement

March 24, 2005

[ Emerson ] DELAWARE, OHIO -- U.S. Representative Jo Ann Emerson will be this year's speaker at Ohio Wesleyan University's Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 8.

Representing the 28 counties of Southern Missouri's Eighth District, Emerson, a 1972 Ohio Wesleyan graduate, was elected in 1996 to replace her husband Bill Emerson, who died that June. The first Republican woman to represent Missouri in Congress, Emerson is a leading advocate for, among several issues, farm families and the promotion of America's agriculture, hunger relief, and access to safe, affordable prescription drugs.

"Jo Ann is yet another example of a successful Ohio Wesleyan graduate who is making a sizeable contribution in our world while also serving as a positive role model for our students," said OWU President Mark Huddleston, who, along with Senior Class President Wandia Chiuri, announced the news about OWU's Commencement speaker.

"I am really excited about having Jo Ann Emerson as our Commencement speaker at Ohio Wesleyan," said Chiuri. "It has been great having so many OWU seniors playing an active role in choosing our commencement speaker."

Graduating in 1972 with a degree in political science, Emerson pursued an active career in public affairs. She has served as the Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for the American Insurance Association, as Director of State Relations and Grassroots Program for the National Restaurant Association, and as Deputy Communications Director for the National Republican Congressional Committee. Emerson is a member of the Appropriations Committee and sits on the Agriculture, Homeland Security and Energy and Water Development Subcommittees.

With a constant focus on serving her constituents to the best of her abilities, Emerson has said that she is most concerned with "finding the best mechanism to do something," and "paying attention to the average citizen."

OWU's Commencement ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. in Phillips Glen on campus.