Gov. Timothy Kaine to Deliver 2007 Commencement Address

Posted: April 20, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Gov. Timothy Kaine
Gov. Timothy Kaine

Virginia Gov. Timothy Kaine will be Mason’s commencement speaker this year on Saturday, May 19, when 6,579 students graduate.

Other highlights of this year’s ceremony will be the awarding of the George Mason Medal to William A. Hazel, chairman of the board of William A. Hazel Inc., a site development contractor located in Northern Virginia, and Hortensia “Tensie” Cadenas, a Mason alumna and director of Mason’s Early Identification Program. The Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters will also be awarded to Kaine.

Kaine, a Democrat, entered political life in 1994 when he was elected to the Richmond City Council. He served four terms, including two terms as Richmond’s mayor. He was elected lieutenant governor under Gov. Mark Warner in 2001, and on January 14, 2006, Kaine was sworn in as governor.

Kaine is married to Anne Holton, a former legal aid lawyer and juvenile court judge. Her father was Linwood Holton, who served as governor of Virginia from 1970 to 1974 and signed the General Assembly legislation that established George Mason University as an independent member of Virginia’s system of colleges and universities in 1972.

Kaine graduated from the University of Missouri and Harvard Law School.

Hazel, a past member of the Board of Trustees of the George Mason University Foundation Inc., has said he believes people have an obligation to give something back to their community, and his highest priority has been education.

He has been active in numerous community organizations and institutions, serving on the boards of the Virginia Literacy Foundation, the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges, the Virginia Military Institute, Youth for Tomorrow and Woodberry Forest School. In addition, Hazel has established scholarships at Mason, Virginia Tech, Lord Fairfax Community College, and Shenandoah University. He is also a significant benefactor to Highland School in Warrenton and Flint Hill School in Fairfax.

Born in Cuba, Cadenas was just a teenager when she came to the United States in the early 1960s. She has since devoted her career to helping fellow Hispanics and other minorities in their struggles to become successful in this country.

Under her leadership since 1990, EIP has grown in enrollment, the types of services provided, and the number of community partners. EIP, an innovative project aimed at intellectually capable middle school and high school students who would be the first in their family to attend college, is currently in its 20th year. The program has more than 500 students enrolled, and has achieved local and national recognition for its growth, efforts, impact and successes.

Cadenas earned a BA in Spanish in 1980 and an MA in foreign languages in 1993 from Mason.

Write to at