Vernon Jordan, one of the major civil rights figures in American history, will deliver the spring 2008 convocation address at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin, James Steinberg, dean of the school, announced today (Nov. 20).
Jordan contributed to the integration of the University of Georgia, headed the United Negro College Fund, Inc., served on the council of President Lyndon Johnson’s White House Conference “To Fulfill These Rights” and was president and chief executive officer of the National Urban League, Inc.
“Vernon Jordan is a towering figure, whose remarkable career vividly demonstrates how one person can make a difference,” said Steinberg. “His extraordinary range of experience and public service at the local, national and international level–as a path-breaking civil rights activist, counselor to presidents and civic leader–is a model for generations to come. In this year of celebration of the centennial of President (Lyndon B.) Johnson’s birth, we are honored to have him as our commencement speaker.”
“I am greatly honored by the invitation and look forward to the opportunity to celebrate LBJ’s 100 years at the 2008 convocation,” Jordan said.
The LBJ School of Public Affairs 2008 convocation ceremony will be held Saturday, May 17 in Bates Recital Hall at 10 a.m. (CT).
Jordan is senior counsel at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer Feld, where he practices general, corporate, legislative and international law, and he is senior managing director of Lazard Fréres and Co. LLC. Prior to joining Akin Gump in 1982, Jordan was president and chief executive officer of the National Urban League, Inc., executive director of the United Negro College Fund, Inc., director of the Voter Education Project of the Southern Regional Council, attorney-consultant at the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity, assistant to the executive director of the Southern Regional Council and Georgia field director for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Jordan’s presidential appointments include: the President’s Advisory Committee for the Points of Light Initiative Foundation, the Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on South Africa, the Advisory Council on Social Security, the Presidential Clemency Board, the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission, the National Advisory Committee on Selective Service and the Council of the White House Conference “To Fulfill These Rights.” Jordan was the chairman of the Clinton presidential transition team in 1992.
Jordan is co-chair of the Ad Council’s Advisory Committee on Public Issues, and president of the Economic Club of Washington, D.C. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bilderberg Meetings and the Trilateral Commission. His directorships include American Express Company, Asbury Automotive Group, Inc., Howard University (trustee); J.C. Penney Company, Inc., Lyndon B. Johnson Foundation and Xerox Corporation. He serves on the international advisory board of Barrick Gold. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the National Bar Association and the Bars of Arkansas, the District of Columbia and Georgia and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Jordan has received numerous honorary degrees and awards in recognition of his accomplishments. In 2001 he was the recipient of the NAACP’s highest honor, the Joel E. Spingarn Medal, awarded for distinguished achievement by black Americans. On Nov. 27, Jordan will be inducted into the Washington Business Hall of Fame. He is the author of “Vernon Can Read! A Memoir” and of a weekly newspaper column that appears in more than 300 newspapers. He has broadcast commentaries on current issues for the Westinghouse Broadcast Network, and is a frequent guest on major national television broadcasts, including “Meet the Press,” “Issues and Answers” and “Face the Nation.” A graduate of DePauw University and the Howard University Law School, Jordan holds honorary degrees from more than 60 colleges and universities.
For more information visit the LBJ School of Public Affairs.