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Congressman Ralph Abraham to serve as ULM Commencement speaker May 14

Published April 18, 2016

MONROE, La. — The University of Louisiana Monroe’s annual spring Commencement Ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 14, in Fant-Ewing Coliseum.

Several honor graduates will also be recognized during the ceremony. They are designated as summa cum laude (3.900-4.000), magna cum laude (3.750-3.899) and cum laude (3.500-3.749). 

Congressman Ralph Abraham, M.D., R-Alto, representing the 5th District of Louisiana, will serve as the ceremony’s keynote speaker.

“It’s an honor for me to have been invited to speak at ULM’s commencement,” said Dr. Abraham. “I appreciate the Class of 2016 for allowing me to share in this important milestone in their lives.” 

A native of Richland Parish, Dr. Abraham earned a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from LSU in 1980 and practiced for 10 years before eventually seeking his Doctorate of Medicine, which he earned at the LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport in 1994. As Dr. Abraham likes to say, he wanted to be able to “treat anything that walks on two or four legs.”

He is a member of the Veterans Affairs Committee and is the chairman of the subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs, a position rarely achieved by freshmen members of Congress. His position on the subcommittee will provide him an important role in implementing effective and efficient reforms to Department of Veterans Affairs while holding the administration accountable. He is also on the HVAC subcommittee on Health. 

Dr. Abraham is a veteran himself after serving in the Army Reserves, in which he achieved the rank of 1st Lieutenant, and the Mississippi National Guard. He also volunteers with the Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Air Force's Civil Air Patrol.

He also serves on the Agriculture Committee. The 5th District is one of the largest row crop districts in the nation, and many of the district’s farmers raise livestock. Dr. Abraham’s position on the House Committee on Agriculture, including the General Farm Commodities & Risk Management and the Nutrition subcommittees, puts him in the best position to make sure Louisiana’s farmers are well-represented on the federal level. Dr. Abraham has spent a lifetime working on his farm, building miles of fences, driving open-cab tractors, herding cattle and breaking wild horses. He understands firsthand the hard work that America’s farmers put in daily.

Dr. Abraham was elected to represent Louisiana's 5th District in December 2014. He is serving a two-year term and is eligible for re-election in December 2016.

“We are delighted to have Dr. Abraham join us as this year’s Spring commencement speaker,” Dr. Nick J. Bruno, ULM’s president. “He is in fact no stranger to ULM. He has served as a guest speaker at our annual Veterans Day event, hosted one of our students as an intern in Washington, and assisted the university in securing a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education for the TRiO Student Support Services program (SSS) at ULM. We are all looking forward to his visit here.”

For those who cannot attend, the live webcast can be found at https://www.ulm.edu/commencement/. Shortly after the conclusion of the event, a full recording of the event will be archived for viewing.

For seating and guest information, visit https://www.ulm.edu/registrar/commencement.html