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Gov. Jindal, Guantanamo attorney to speak at 2009 Loyola commencement - Herbie Hancock to receive honorary degree

February 20, 2009

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will address the Loyola University New Orleans 2009 graduating class, and internationally renowned jazz musician and chairman of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz at Loyola, Herbie Hancock, will receive an honorary degree during commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 9, at 10 a.m., at the Louisiana Superdome.

During a separate ceremony, College of Law graduates will hear from Neal Kaytal, who sued former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld over military trials at Guantanamo Bay Naval Station, on Friday, May 15, at 6 p.m. at the Morial Convention Center auditorium.

In October 2007, Bobby Jindal became the first Indian-American governor in United States history. A Louisiana native, Jindal first entered public office in 1996, when he was appointed secretary of the Louisiana Department of Heath and Hospitals. During his tenure as secretary, he revitalized Louisiana’s Medicaid program and improved healthcare for children, the elderly and the disabled. In 1998, he was appointed executive director of the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare, and after that, he was appointed president of the university system in Louisiana, the 16th largest higher education system in the country. In 2001, he was appointed assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Heath and Human Services. Two years later, he returned to Louisiana to run for public office, where he first campaigned for governor, and then for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. In addition to being the commencement speaker, Jindal will also receive an honorary degree from Loyola.

Neal Kaytal is the Paul and Patricia Saunders Professor of National Security Law at Georgetown University Law School. In June 2006, the Supreme Court sided with him in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, finding that President Bush’s tribunals violated the constitutional separation of powers, domestic military law and international law. Kaytal is an expert in national security law, the American Constitution, the Geneva Conventions and the role of the President and Congress post 9-11. He served as national security adviser in the U.S. Justice Department and was co-counsel to Al Gore in the Supreme Court election dispute of 2000.

Herbie Hancock is recognized as a legendary pianist and composer and has been an integral part of every jazz movement since the 1960s. As a member of the Miles Davis Quintet, he became one of the pioneers of the avant garde sound. His recordings during the 1970s combined electric jazz with funk and rock sounds in an innovative style that influenced decades of music.

In addition to Jindal and Hancock, a slate of accomplished Louisianians will also receive honorary degrees from Loyola at the May 9 ceremony.

Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honoré, a recently-retired veteran of the U.S. Army who led military efforts in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina; chef and Dooky Chase Restaurant owner Leah Chase, who is a civic leader and advocate for the arts; and Wardell Quezergue, legendary New Orleans music arranger, producer and bandleader, known for his work with renowned artists such as Fats Domino, Professor Longhair, Irma Thomas, Paul Simon, Willie Nelson and B.B. King, will all be honored for their extraordinary achievements and service as role models to Loyola graduates.

For more information, contact the Office of Public Affairs at (504) 861-5888 or publaff@loyno.edu.

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Loyola at a Glance is written and distributed for the faculty, staff, students and friends of Loyola University New Orleans. It is published by the Office of Public Affairs, Greenville Hall, Box 909, 7214 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70118. (504) 861-5888.

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