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Spring 2015 Commencement Speaker

Congressman Elijah E. Cummings
Maryland’s 7th Congressional District, U.S. House of Representatives

Congressman Elijah E. Cummings has dedicated his life of service to uplifting and empowering the people he is sworn to represent. Since 1996, he has proudly represented Maryland’s 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

He often says that our children are the living messages that we send to a future we will never see. In that vein, he is committed to ensuring that our next generation has access to quality healthcare and education, clean air and water, and a strong economy defined by fiscal responsibility.

He serves as the ranking member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the main investigative committee in the House of Representatives. The committee has jurisdiction to investigate any federal program and any matter with federal policy implications.  As the ranking member, Congressman Cummings fights to hold the presidential administration to a high standard of excellence and to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in the actions of the United States government. He also seeks to identify appropriate reforms that prevent waste, fraud and abuse and that ensure government programs meet the needs of the American people.

Congressman Cummings is a senior member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, serving on both the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation and the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials.

He has also been a consistent advocate for the rights of those facing foreclosure and holds regular seminars for people who are at risk of foreclosure. The homeowners are matched with lenders to work out loan modifications on site to prevent foreclosure. He began the 112th Congress by requesting that the first hearing in the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform investigate the causes of, and potential solutions to, the foreclosure crisis.

He serves on numerous boards and commissions. He is spearheading an effort to strengthen the maritime curriculum at the Maritime Industries Academy (MIA) in Baltimore, serving as chairman of the MIA Board and chairman of the MIA Foundation Board. He also serves on the U.S. Naval Academy Board of Visitors, the Morgan State University Board of Regents, the University of Maryland Law School Board of Advisors, the SEED School of Maryland, and the Baltimore Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors. He is an honorary board member of KIPP Baltimore Schools and the Baltimore School for the Arts. He is also the 2014-2015 holder of the Gwendolyn S. and Colbert I. King Endowed Chair in Public Policy Lecture Series at Howard University.

Congressman Cummings began his career of public service in the Maryland House of Delegates, where he served for 14 years and became the first African American in Maryland history to be named speaker pro tempore. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Howard University and also graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law. He has also received 11 honorary doctoral degrees from universities throughout the nation.

A Baltimore, Md. native, Congressman Cummings still resides there today with his wife, Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings. He is an active member of New Psalmist Baptist Church.