May 4, 2005
Contact: Anika Mitchell Perkins
Sen. Cochran to speak at MUW graduation
COLUMBUS, Miss. – The graduating class of Mississippi
University for Women will hear from U.S. Sen. Thad
Cochran at the 120th commencement on Saturday, May 14.
The congressman will speak at both services, which will
be held in Rent Auditorium, Whitfield Hall.
Conferring of degrees for the Divisions of Business and
Communication, Interdisciplinary Studies, Nursing and
Science and Mathematics will be held at 11 a.m. The
ceremony for the Divisions of Education and Human
Sciences, Fine and Performing Arts, Health and
Kinesiology and Humanities will take place at 3 p.m.
Sen. Cochran has served Mississippi and America in the
U.S. Congress since 1972.
He was re-elected to the House of Representatives in
1974 and 1976 and then elected to the United States
Senate in 1978, making him the first Republican in over
100 years to win a statewide election in Mississippi. He
has been re-elected to the Senate four consecutive
Sen. Cochran has served as chairman of the Senate
Republican Conference, the Agriculture, Nutrition, and
Forestry Committee and the Homeland Security
He currently serves as chairman of the full
Appropriations Committee and as a member of the
Agriculture and Rules Committees. His distinguished
legislative record includes the sponsorship of the
National Missile Defense Act of 1999, the Campaign
Finance Reform Act and key provisions of several farm
Sen. Cochran also has written legislation supporting
education programs such as teacher training, vocational
education, libraries and educational television. A
strong proponent of education, he served as a member of
the National Education Goals Panel, and numerous
university projects have been funded with Senator
Through his assistance, MUW has received over $1.7
million in congressionally-directed grants for campus
emergency equipment, Plymouth Bluff Center programming
and the creation of the Southern Women’s Institute.
He authored the Mississippi Wilderness Act, which is the
first federal legislation ever passed for the perpetual
protection of lands in the State of Mississippi. He also
helped establish national wildlife refuges as a member
of the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, and he
authored the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program.
Sen. Cochran has helped develop, maintain and improve
the Natchez Trace Parkway, the Natchez Historical Park,
the Vicksburg National Military Park and the Gulf
Islands National Seashore.
As a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee,
he has worked successfully to support the Navy’s
shipbuilding programs and the military bases and
installations in Mississippi.
During previous Congresses, Senator Cochran served on
the Senate Ethics Committee, the Judiciary Committee,
the Labor and Human Resources Committee, and the
Committee on Indian Affairs. Service on these committees
has enabled him to be actively involved in writing laws
affecting a wide range of issues, including rural
development, health care and criminal law.
Sen. Cochran has been awarded honorary degrees from
Kentucky Wesleyan College, Mississippi College, Blue
Mountain College and the University of Richmond. He is a
member of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian
Institution and the Board of the Museum of American
History. He is also an ex officio member of the Kennedy
Center Board of Trustees.
He was born Dec. 7, 1937, in Pontotoc. Before being
elected to public office, he earned a bachelor’s degree
in psychology from the University of Mississippi and a
law degree from the University of Mississippi School of
Law. He also served in the U.S. Naval Reserve.
He is a member of Northminster Baptist Church in
Jackson. He and his wife, the former Rose Clayton of New
Albany, have two grown children and two grandsons.
MUW recently received approval from the Board of
Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning to
rename South Callaway Hall after Senator Cochran and his
wife. Thad and Rose Cochran Hall is currently being
renovated to house Student Services.