U.S. Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota will be the featured speaker at the University of
North Dakota School of Law spring commencement ceremony at 10 a.m., May 7, in the Chester Fritz Auditorium.
At total of 79 students are eligibile to cross the stage and hear Sen. Hoeven’s commencement address. UND President Robert Kelley will confer the academic degrees and law school dean Kathryn Rand will provide closing remarks.
As North Dakota’s governor, Sen. Hoeven supported research at UND in a number of high profile areas, including energy, engineering, health and aerospace, particularly through the Centers of Excellence for Economic Development program, which he initiated. He has been a staunch supporter of UND’s multi-pronged Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) programs. He has also backed UNDâ€™s efforts to provide distance education to place-bound North Dakotans, wherever they live.
The Centers of Excellence in Economic Development initiative combined education and economic development to create higher-paying jobs and new business opportunities for North Dakota citizens. A particular interest has been UND’s UAS endeavors in North Dakota. Under his watch, the North Dakota Department of Commerce supported UND’s UAS Center of Excellence with $5.85 million in funding. That investment was used to leverage another $11 million in matching money from the private sector.
Working with members of North Dakotaâ€™s Congressional delegation, Sen. Hoeven has continued to champion the stateâ€™s unique value to the UAS industry to make the state a national hub for unmanned aircraft operations.
On January 5, 2011, John Hoeven was sworn in as North Dakota’s 22nd U.S. Senator, after serving 10 years as governor for the state of North Dakota.
As governor, Hoeven worked to build North Dakota’s future by focusing on six pillars of growth: education, economic development, agriculture, energy, technology and quality of life. Under his leadership, North Dakota expanded and diversified its economy and gained nearly 40,000 new jobs.
Sen. Hoeven emphasized development of North Dakota’s vast energy resources. Beginning in 2001, he initiated EmPower ND, a multi-resource energy program for the state with incentives in each energy sector, as well as a conservation component. North Dakota is one of the largest energy producing and exporting state in the nation. He has worked to advance the state’s traditional energy resources, such as lignite coal, oil and gas, while promoting renewable energy opportunities, such as wind, ethanol and biodiesel.
Sen. Hoevenâ€™s positions on the Senate Appropriations and Senate Energy Committees enable him to work toward implementing policies on a national level that have helped grow and diversify North Dakota’s economy and create jobs on the state level.
Sen. Hoeven was born in Bismarck. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College in 1979 and a master’s degree in business administration from Northwestern University in 1981. He served as executive vice president of First Western Bank in Minot from 1986 to 1993 and established a strong position of service in many civic, community and economic development activities prior to elective office. From 1993-2000 he served as president and CEO of Bank of North Dakota (BND), which grew from $900 million to $1.6 billion.
Hoeven and his wife, Mical (Mikey), have two children, Marcela and Jack.