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Brees addresses graduates Saturday

Loyola press release - May 3, 2010

This Saturday, May 8, at 10 a.m., New Orleans Saints quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees will address Loyola University New Orleans’ Class of 2010 during the university’s unified commencement ceremony in the Louisiana Superdome.

Brees, along with R. King Milling, longtime New Orleans environmental and civic leader; and Clyde Kerr Jr., trumpeter and music mentor to countless young New Orleans musicians, will receive honorary degrees during the ceremony.

Brees led a dominating performance against the Indianapolis Colts on Feb. 7, resulting in the New Orleans Saints’ first Super Bowl victory in franchise history. The quarterback dedicated the win to the city of New Orleans, his adopted home since 2006, coincidentally, the same year Loyola’s graduating class enrolled in the university. Since his arrival to New Orleans, Brees has played a fundamental role in efforts to rebuild the city, dedicating his time to fundraising as well as hands-on work. He and his wife Brittany are extremely active philanthropists, having established the Brees Dream Foundation whose mission is to provide care, education and opportunities for children facing adversity. Additionally, some of his ongoing efforts include rebuilding homes with Habitat for Humanity, support of Children's Hospital, fund raising for Operation Kids, holding The Drew Brees Gridiron Classic for youth football teams, and an annual golf tournament that that distributes money to children's causes in New Orleans and San Diego.

R. King Milling is the former president of Whitney National Bank and Whitney Holding Corporation in New Orleans, where he served for almost 25 years. He retired in 2008, but still serves on the board of directors for both organizations as he has done since 1977. Milling is being honored because of his tireless efforts to save Louisiana's wetlands and restore the coastline, as well as his decades of work with many other causes.

Milling serves as chair of the Louisiana Governor’s Advisory Commission on Coastal Protection, Restoration and Conservation, as president of the America’s WETLAND Foundation, and as a board member of the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation which works directly with people affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and most recently, the earthquake victims in Haiti.

Clyde Kerr Jr., as one of New Orleans’ highest caliber musicians, has played with some of the world’s most notable artists, ranging from the Jackson 5 and Aretha Franklin to Tony Bennett and the Neville Brothers.

Kerr is being honored for his profound impact on New Orleans and its young people. He has been a longtime fixture in the city as a teacher, and has dedicated himself to passing along his skills to countless young musicians, most of whom are underserved. Wynton Marsalis, Nicholas Payton, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews and Irvin Mayfield are some of his most well-known pupils.

For more information, contact Meredith Hartley, director of Loyola's Office of Public Affairs and External Relations at 504-722-6078 or mhartley@loyno.edu.

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LoyNews is an e-newswire produced by the Loyola University New Orleans Office of Public Affairs. LoyNews is distributed weekly to local, regional and national news media outlets, communicating the latest news and accomplishments of the university and its community.