Jeremiah W. (Jay) Nixon, Governor of Missouri, will be the commencement speaker during a graduation ceremony May 15 at Missouri University of Science and Technology.
Nixon was elected the 55th Governor of Missouri in 2008. Upon taking office, one of Gov. Nixon’s first actions was to negotiate an agreement with the presidents of Missouri’s public two-year and four-year colleges and universities to freeze undergraduate tuition in exchange for stable funding of higher education in a difficult budget environment. Gov. Nixon also worked with the General Assembly to pass Caring for Missourians, a program that will expand the capacity of health care training in Missouri to meet growing needs.
Under Gov. Nixon’s leadership, Missouri has also avoided the type of dramatic cuts to elementary and secondary education other states have seen, and the Governor’s jobs package and small-business loan programs are helping put Missourians back to work.
Last summer, Gov. Nixon visited Missouri S&T to sign into law two pieces of legislation promoting science and technology. House Bill 506 created Math, Engineering, Science and Technology Week every March, and Senate Concurrent Resolution Two established Oct. 3 as Science Day in Missouri each year.
Earlier in his career, Nixon was elected to four terms as Missouri’s Attorney General, beginning in 1992. He successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate Missouri’s campaign contribution limits, and his lawsuit against tobacco companies continues to collect billions of dollars for Missourians. He also founded Missouri’s No-Call List, which has become a model for other states.
Gov. Nixon is from De Soto, Mo. After earning undergraduate and law degrees at the University of Missouri-Columbia, he practiced law in De Soto. In 1986, he was elected to represent Jefferson County in the Missouri State Senate.