ROCK HILL, S.C. - U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn will serve as the featured speaker at Winthrop’s fall commencement exercises on Saturday, Dec. 17. More than 350 undergraduates will receive their degrees in the 11 a.m. ceremony at Winthrop Coliseum. Clyburn, a Sumter, S.C., native, also will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters. Clyburn was first sworn in to serve South Carolina’s Sixth Congressional District in 1992 and has represented the district since. Clyburn currently serves in the House Democratic Caucus leadership as vice chair, the fourth-ranking Democratic representative, for the 109th Congress. Clyburn was co-president of his freshman class and served as chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference in 1997 and 1998. As chair of the Congressional Black Caucus for the 106th Congress, he moved environmental justice issues to the forefront of the Caucus’ agenda and successfully pushed for integration of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. Clyburn currently serves on the coveted House Appropriations Committee, where he is a member of the subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies. He also is a member of the subcommittee on Transportation, Treasury and Housing and Urban Development, The Judiciary, District of Columbia. Following his graduation from South Carolina State University, Clyburn worked as a teacher, an employment counselor and director of two youth and community development projects in Charleston, S.C. He was appointed to the staff of Governor John C. West in January 1971. Three years later, Clyburn was appointed as the South Carolina Human Affairs Commissioner, a post he held until running for Congress in 1992. Clyburn is the Steering Committee chairman for the International Museum of African American History in Charleston, S.C., and is a member of the governing boards of Allen University, Brookgreen Gardens and the Palmetto Conservation Foundation.
Clyburn has been awarded honorary doctorate degrees by 15 colleges and universities. Married to the former Emily England of Moncks Corner, S.C., Clyburn and his wife have three daughters and two grandchildren. In addition to the Dec. 17 undergraduate commencement, Winthrop will hold a separate graduate commencement ceremony on Dec. 15 to honor 90 graduate students who will receive their degrees. That ceremony will be at 7 p.m. in Byrnes Auditorium.
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