Sen. Lindsey Graham

US Senator Lindsey Graham to address Graduating Class of SMC

The graduation commencement ceremony for the 2014 class of Spartanburg Methodist College will be held on Friday, May 9th at 10 a.m. in the Jesse L. Bridges Arena located on the SMC campus. This year’s commencement speaker will be United States Senator Lindsey Graham.

“In the United States Senate, South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham has earned a reputation as a leader willing to tackle the toughest issues facing our nation,” stated SMC President Colleen Perry Keith. “His service to his country, through elected or military channels, has been exemplary. His commitment to service beyond self is something that we want our students to emulate as they pursue their next level of education and enter the workplace.”

Graham is widely viewed as one of the strongest proponents of a robust national defense and considered a loyal friend to our men and women serving in uniform. A frequent visitor to the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq for on-the-ground assessments, Graham has consistently pushed for outcomes in the War on Terror which defend our own long-term national security interests.

Closer to home, Graham has been a leader in balancing the federal budget and reforming entitlements to get our nation’s fiscal house in order. For his work, a prominent national conservative organization labeled him a ‘Taxpayer Hero’ who puts, “the interests of the taxpayer ahead of politics by consistently voting to cut wasteful spending, reduce the tax burden, and make government more accountable to taxpayers.”
Graham was elected to the Senate in 2002 and reelected in 2008, garnering over one million votes and becoming the top vote-getter in South Carolina history.

In the Senate, he serves on the chamber’s most important committees: Appropriations, which oversees the expenditure of every dollar from the Federal Treasury; Armed Services, which is responsible for all areas of our national defense; Budget, which establishes the blueprint for total government revenues and spending, and Judiciary, which has a broad mandate covering multiple issues ranging from the Constitution to criminal justice to intellectual property law.

Graham was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994 as the first Republican from
the Third Congressional District of South Carolina since 1877. Prior to his service in the House,
Graham compiled a distinguished record in the United States Air Force as he logged six-and-ahalf
years of service on active duty as an Air Force lawyer. From 1984-1988, he was assigned
overseas and served at Rhein-Main Air Force Base in Germany.  Upon leaving active duty Air Force in 1989, Graham joined the South Carolina Air National Guard where he served until 1995. During the first Gulf War in the early 90’s, Graham was called to active duty and served state-side at McEntire Air National Guard Base as Staff Judge Advocate where he prepared members for deployment to the Gulf region. Graham continues to serve his country in the U.S. Air Force Reserves and is one of only two U.S. Senators currently serving in the Guard or Reserves. He is a colonel and is assigned as a Senior Instructor at the Air Force JAG School. A native South Carolinian, Graham grew up in Central, graduated from D.W. Daniel High School near Clemson, and earned his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of South Carolina. He lives in Seneca and is a member of Corinth Baptist Church.

An estimated 200 sophomore students are expected to be awarded degrees. Mr. Alex Haulbrook,
son of Kelly Stubblefield and Nathan Haulbrook of Lexington, SC and a graduate of Lexington
High School, will be the recipient of the Yandle Student Leader Award at graduation, which
accompanies the honor of being the student commencement speaker. Music will be provided by
the SMC Troubadours under the direction of Dr. Lanny Lanford, Composer and Professor of
Music.

Based on the limited capacity of the Bridges Arena, this year’s commencement will be a “ticketed
event” and guests will not be permitted without a ticket. For the first time ever, the 2014 SMC
ceremony will be streamed live at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/palmetto-sound-works for those unable to attend graduation in person.