Secretary of Education Anne Holton to deliver Spring 2014 commencement address at RU

Photo of Anne Holton

Virginia Secretary of Education Anne Holton

Anne Holton, Secretary of Education for the Commonwealth of Virginia, will be the keynote speaker at Radford University’s 2014 Spring Commencement on Saturday, May 10, at 10 a.m. on the university’s Moffett Lawn.

She has served as Virginia’s Secretary of Education in the Cabinet of Governor Terry McAuliffe since January 2014. She is a former First Lady of Virginia and a lifelong advocate for children and families.  Holton is the wife of U.S. Senator Tim Kaine and daughter of former Virginia Governor Linwood Holton.  After graduating with a B.A. from Princeton University and receiving a law degree from Harvard University, she worked as a legal aid lawyer serving low-income families. She served as a juvenile and domestic relations district court judge from 1998 until 2005 when Kaine was elected Governor of Virginia and she became First Lady.

No stranger to Radford University, Holton joined with Maya Angelou and Jehan Sadat in 2006 for a symposium on women’s leadership as part of the inauguration of Penelope W. Kyle, RU's sixth president.

“We are so honored to have Secretary Holton return to campus as our commencement speaker in her first year as Secretary of Education for the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said President Penelope W. Kyle. “Not only does she have a record of achievement in a variety of areas, her demonstrated service and commitment to others makes her a perfect role model for our graduating students as they become tomorrow’s leaders in their communities and professions.”

Photo of Kyle, Holton, Sadat, Angelou

L-R standing President Penelope W. Kyle, Anne Holton, Jehan Sadat; seated Dr. Maya Angelou

As Virginia's First Lady, Holton championed a successful initiative to secure permanent family connections for more foster youth. She later served as a consultant at the Annie E. Casey Foundation on foster care systems reform, with a focus on judiciary issues and preventing unnecessary out-of-home placements of youth due to complex behavioral issues. Holton is the recipient of the Foundation's Life Award of Distinction.

In 2008 Holton worked with the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education to establish the Great Expectations program, which works through campus coaches based on community college campuses to improve access to and success in higher education for Virginia's foster youth and alumni. She served as the program's director in 2013.

Holton attended public schools in Roanoke, Richmond, and Fairfax County, Virginia. With her family she helped integrate the Richmond Public Schools in 1970. Holton served on the Richmond Public Schools Education Foundation Board 2010-2012 and on the Voices for Virginia Children Board 2010-2013. She also has served on the Advisory Board to Youth-Nex, the U.Va. Center to Promote Effective Youth Development at the Curry School of Education.

Apr 11, 2014