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Warner And Baldacci Will Speak At U.Va.’S Finals Exercises

May 9, 2002-- Virginia Gov. Mark R. Warner and best-selling author David Baldacci are among scheduled speakers for Finals Weekend at the University of Virginia May 18 and 19.

The 173rd graduation speaker, Warner will deliver the commencement address at Finals Exercises on the Lawn on Sunday, May 19, at 10 a.m.

The 69th governor of Virginia, Warner, a Northern Virginia entrepreneur and philanthropist, has been dedicated to helping underserved people around the state. He was a founding chair of the Virginia Health Care Foundation, which provides health care to more than 425,000 Virginians in rural and urban areas. Through the foundation, Warner started SeniorNavigator.com, an Internet-based program that uses a network of trained volunteers to help older Virginians and their caregivers find answers to medical questions, locate senior health services and connect with other senior citizens in their communities.

Warner received his undergraduate degree from George Washington University in 1977. His wife, Lisa Collis, graduated from U.Va.’s College of Arts & Sciences that year with a degree in biology.

Following graduation from Harvard Law School in 1980, Warner went into business, starting his first successful company in the fledgling cellular communications industry. Later, he was a founding partner of Columbia Capital Corp., a technology venture capital fund in Alexandria that has helped start more than 50 businesses now employing more than 15,000 workers.

Baldacci, who will speak at Valedictory Exercises on Saturday, May 18, at 11 a.m., is a 1986 U.Va. Law School alumnus. He will conduct a book signing at 1 p.m. at the University Bookstore.

Baldacci, who practiced law for nine years in Washington, D.C., is the author of fast-paced suspense novels, including "Absolute Power," "Total Control," "The Winner," "The Simple Truth," "Saving Faith," "Wish You Well" and "Last Man Standing," published this month.

Worldwide best-sellers, his novels often involve dilemmas of ordinary people close to centers of power. "Absolute Power," his first, was made into a movie starring Clint Eastwood and Gene Hackman.

A Virginia native and graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, Baldacci is active in numerous charities and sits on the boards of the Central Virginia chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and VCU.

The graduation committee of the class trustees chooses the speaker for Valedictory Exercises based on nominations from members of the graduating class. The exercise will include the presentation of students and faculty awards and the 2002 class gift.

Katherine Jackson, (434) 924-3629

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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