Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb will be the commencement speaker for the graduating class of 2019 at the commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 11, at 3 p.m. in Kardaztke Wellness Center. The address will be open to AU students, graduates and families.
Holcomb praised the university and its values in anticipation of commencement in a press release announcing the event.
“I’m honored to speak at Anderson University where well-rounded students discover Christ-centered ways to determine their destiny in service to others,” Holcomb said. “Indiana needs more talented, well rounded, highly-skilled Hoosiers ready to fill the high-wage jobs of tomorrow. I look forward to recognizing their achievement and celebrating with the graduates who have dedicated themselves to the pursuit of knowledge.”
President John Pistole spoke of the honor of hosting Holcomb in the same press release.
“We look forward to hearing his address and sending out our graduates with courage and enthusiasm to honor God and serve others,” he said.
The response to the announcement has been positive overall, from families and graduating seniors alike.
Holcomb, a Navy veteran and lifelong Hoosier, is the 51st governor of Indiana and previously served as the 51st lieutenant governor under former Governor Mike Pence, who was nominated to be vice president for Donald J. Trump during his presidential election campaign in 2016.
Holcomb entered the gubernatorial race and won despite only campaigning for 106 days.
Hannah Scott, a senior political science and public relations major, is looking forward to the governor’s speech.
“As a graduating senior, I was really excited when I heard that Governor Eric Holcomb was going to be speaking at commencement this year,” she said. “Even though I don’t always agree with Holcomb’s decisions, I’m excited to hear what he has to say. It’s always exciting for me to see AU bring in high profile politicians who speak to and engage with students.”
Josh Senft is a senior national security major and president of the AU College Republicans.
“It’s a great honor for us to have Governor Holcomb speak at commencement this year,” he said. “Governor Holcomb strongly embodies at least two of AU’s core values, integrity and servant leadership.”
Ball State University will have Holcomb speaking at their commencement at 10 a.m. on May 4, the first time a sitting Indiana governor has done so.
Also in April, Taylor University announced that they will have Vice President Mike Pence to deliver their graduation address, a move that has sparked criticism from alumni and students.
“I think it’s remarkable that we and a neighboring Christian school are hosting Hoosiers of distinguished honor, integrity and servant leadership,” Senft said. “I look forward to hearing the governor’s address.”
Last year, he met Vice President Pence at a tax reform rally at the Purdue Polytechnic Institute in Anderson. Pence signed Senft’s pocket Constitution and gave him words of encouragement.