Virginia Tech has announced that Sen. Mark Warner will be the spring commencement speaker.
The event is scheduled for May 11 at noon, with more than 5,000 graduates.
“We are honored that Senator Warner is coming,” said Mark Owczarski, university spokesman. “He’s an incredibly successful politician. He has been a very good friend to Virginia Tech over the years, and it’s just a great honor. He’s our commonwealth senator. We’re very happy he’s coming.”
Warner, the Democratic United States senator for Virginia, has been a senator since 2009, serving in various committees and forming the Gang of Six — the bipartisan organization that is working to reduce the federal budget.
Owczarski said the commencement speaker is invited by the Office of the President in collaboration with student and university groups in the fall.
“Senator Warner, upon receiving that invitation, said ‘absolutely yes,’” Owczarski said.
Warner gave the Tech commencement speech in 2002, one year after being elected governor of Virginia and one year before playing a large part in moving Tech from the Big East to the ACC.
He has also given commencement speeches at other universities, including Wake Forest University, George Washington University and the University of Virginia.
As a fan and supporter of Tech, Warner said, in an email statement, he is excited to take part in graduation, offering students advice.
“While I’m not exactly sure what I’ll talk about yet, I think it’s important that these graduates are excited about the future and are not afraid to take risks,” he said. “As a matter of fact, I’ve learned as much from my failures as I have from my success.”
Warner has not ruled out the possibility of running for reelection in 2014. According to the Washington Post, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has expressed that he may possibly run against him. However, neither of these statements have been confirmed.