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Apr 22, 2013 09:49 AM EDT

Gov. Rick Scott Named as Ave Maria University’s Commencement Speaker


Governor Rick Scott has been chosen as the 2013 commencement speaker at Ave Maria University, May 4,

In addition, Kevin J. Seamus Hasson, the founder and president emeritus of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, will be honored with an honorary doctorate during the ceremony.

Along with Hasson, around 159 undergraduate and 15 graduate students will receive degrees.

"Our graduates are very fortunate to have our state's chief executive address them," Jim Towey, the university's president said. "They also will enjoy having Seamus Hasson as part of their graduating class."

Governor Richard Lynn "Rick" Scott was elected as the state's 45th governor in 2010. During his tenure, he is credited with having decreased the state's unemployment percentage by focusing on job creations, which he considered as his top priority.

At the same time, he also invested in higher education sector by funding Florida Resident Access Grant (FRAG), a cash award offered to residents attending private colleges and universities in the state. This grant has helped hundreds of undergraduates attend Ave Maria.

Scott defeated Bill McCollum in the Republican primary election and defeated Democrat Alex Sink in the 2010 Florida gubernatorial election

Prior to serving as a governor, Scott worked as a clerk at J.C. Penney; served on the USS Glover as a radar technician for 29 months, was a successful businessman and a health care executive.

He earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and law degree from Southern Methodist University.

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