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Howard Baker And Sara James To Speak At U.Va.

March 8, 1999 -- Former U.S. Senator Howard H. Baker Jr. and NBC correspondent Sara James are among scheduled speakers for Finals Weekend at the University of Virginia on May 22 and 23.

The 170th U.Va. graduation speaker, Baker will deliver the commencement address at Final Exercises on the Lawn on Sunday, May 23.

Long respected on the national political scene, Baker served in the U.S. Senate from 1967 to 1985 as a Republican from Tennessee. He rose to national prominence during the Watergate hearings in 1973 as vice chairman of the Senate committee investigating former President Richard M. Nixon.

He was the keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention in 1976, and was a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 1980. During his Senate career he served both as minority leader and majority leader.

Some of Baker's international duties have included serving as a delegate to the United Nations in 1976, and on the President's Foreign Intelligence Board.

He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs and is on the boards of the Forum of International Policy, the American-Russian Cultural Cooperation Foundation, and U.Va.'s Miller Center for Public Affairs.

Baker received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award, in 1984, and he has received numerous honorary degrees from educational institutions.

Following undergraduate studies at the University of the South and Tulane University, Baker received his law degree from the University of Tennessee.

James, who will speak at Valedictory Exercises on Saturday, May 22, is a 1983 graduate of the University of Virginia. She joined NBC News' "Dateline" in 1994.

In addition to her duties for the newsmagazine, James also serves as a substitute co-anchor and news reader on NBC News' "Today" and weekend editions of "Today."

A native of Durham, N.C., who grew up in Richmond, she worked at WWBT in Richmond from 1984 until 1986.

The graduation committee of the class trustees chooses the speaker for Valedictory Exercises based on nominations from members of the fourth-year class. The exercises will include the presentation of student and faculty awards and the 1999 class gift.

Contact: Katherine Jackson, (804) 924-3629.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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