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Colin Powell to Give Commencement Address

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  • Former Sec. of State Gen. Colin Powell

Former Secretary of State General Colin L. Powell will be Franklin & Marshall College’s commencement speaker on May 16, 2009.

“Franklin & Marshall College is deeply honored that a dedicated public servant and a great American leader like General Powell has agreed to address our graduates from the Class of 2009,” F&M President John Fry said.

Powell served as the 65th U.S. Secretary of State from Jan. 2001 to Jan. 2005, under President George W. Bush. During his 35 years of service to the U.S. Army, he rose to the rank of four-star general.

He was a national security adviser to President Ronald Reagan, and from 1989 to 1993 he served as the 12th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He is also the author of the best-selling autobiography, My American Journey.

Now retired from public life, Powell is a strategic limited partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a renowned Silicon Valley venture-capital firm. At his alma mater, the City College of New York, he founded the Colin Powell Center for Policy Studies. The center’s mission is to develop a new generation of publicly engaged leaders.

He is the founder and chairman emeritus of the America’s Promise Alliance, which is committed to providing children with the fundamental resources they need to succeed. Powell is also helping to raise funds for the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C., and for the construction of an education center for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.