The Class of 2013 Commencement Address will be delivered by Christopher J. Dodd, the longtime Democratic Senator from Connecticut. Dodd announced his retirement from the Senate in 2010, ending a 36 year legislative career. He is now the head of the Motion Picture Association of America.
Senator Dodd’s contributions to the country speak volumes about the impact of legal education over the long arc of a distinguished career in public service. The causes he has championed and his legislative accomplishments traverse the fields of health care, child and family welfare, financial regulation, voting rights, and Latin American relations.
A key participant in nearly every major national policy debate over the past three decades, Senator Dodd hardly requires an introduction, but a few biographical highlights merit attention. He grew up in Connecticut, the son of a U.S. Senator, graduated from Providence College and served in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic, before enrolling in the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville, where he received his JD in 1972.
His political career began in the House of Representatives as member of the “Watergate class of ’74.” He was reelected to the House twice before being elected in 1980 to the Senate, where his five terms made him the longest serving Senator in Connecticut history.
Senator Dodd took on an especially prominent profile in his last term. He played a decisive role in passage of the Affordable Care Act and was the principal author of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law, passed in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. In 2007, he was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President.