Former Rep. Mike Castle chosen as commencement speaker
Published: Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, April 5, 2011 16:04
Mike Castle, whose 18-year career in the U.S. House of Representatives was cut short last fall by Christine O'Donnell's surprise primary victory, will speak at this year's Spring Commencement, The Review has learned.
In addition to his nine terms in the U.S. House as Delaware's lone representative, Castle served as Delaware governor from 1984 to 1992 and spent several years in the state legislature. He became known as a moderate and often crossed the political aisle to work with Democrats, especially his fellow Delaware congressmen.
Castle's bid for a Senate seat was unexpectedly ended in September, when Tea Party-backed O'Donnell defeated him the Republican primary. O'Donnell's candidacy brought national attention to the state until she lost in the general election to Democrat Chris Coons.
Castle left public office Jan. 3 when his House term expired. He later donated his congressional papers to the university's Morris Library in a ceremony on campus earlier this semester.
Castle will address graduating seniors at the university's 162nd Spring Commencement, set for 9 a.m. May 28 at Delaware Stadium. The choice of Castle as commencement speaker, which will be formally announced Wednesday on the university's website, is a tribute to his long, respected service to his country, officials said.
"In Washington, D.C., he played an important role in federal legislation affecting a variety of areas, including education, nutrition, welfare and campaign finance reform," Pete Hayward, vice president and university secretary, said in a statement. "His commitment to service, his personal integrity and his love of Delaware make him an excellent choice to address the University's newest graduates as they move into the next stage of their lives."
Castle earned his bachelor's degree from Hamilton College in New York and his law degree from Georgetown University. However, his wife, Jane, is a University of Delaware alumna.
The commencement is open to the public and will be held rain or shine. Guests and degree candidates are asked to arrive no later than 8 a.m.
Seniors: What do you think of this year's choice for commencement speaker? Email email@example.com if you would like to talk to a reporter for possible inclusion in a later article.