On Saturday, May 11, U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43) — the first woman and first African American to chair the powerful U.S. House Committee on Financial Services — and civil rights icon and leader, Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., received Honorary Doctorate of Laws degrees from the University of the District of Columbia (UDC). Rep. Waters also delivered a keynote address to more than 900 graduates during UDC’s 2019 University of the District of Columbia (UDC) Commencement Convocation.
“It is a distinct honor to be invited to join the president, board, faculty, and staff of UDC as we celebrate the achievements of the Class of 2019,” said Congresswoman Maxine Waters. “For more than a century, UDC has transformed the lives of its students by providing the educational and vocational training that both traditional and non-traditional students need to lead successful lives and careers. I am pleased to accept an Honorary Doctorate of Laws degree from this historic institution, and I join the entire local community in applauding the 2019 graduates.”
Congresswoman Maxine Waters has emerged as one of the strongest legislators, community organizers, and champions for women, children, seniors, veterans, people of color, and the poor. She was elected in November 2018 to her fifteenth term in the U.S. House of Representatives where she proudly represents California’s diverse and dynamic 43rd Congressional District. With more than 20 years of experience and expertise on financial services issues, Congresswoman Waters recently made history as the first woman and first African American to hold the Chair’s gavel of the House Financial Services Committee, where she leads the Democratic Caucus in the effort to pass meaningful legislation to protect consumers and safeguard the economy.
In a statement to the Washington Post, UDC President Ronald Mason Jr. praised Waters as “an advocate for marginalized and disadvantaged people her entire life.”
The University of the District of Columbia was established in 1851, is a historically black university, and is the only public university in the nation’s capital. The university offers 81 undergraduate and graduate academic degrees with the mission of “producing lifelong learners who are transformative leaders in the workforce, government, nonprofit sectors and beyond.”