Campus News

US senator will give spring Commencement address

Saxby Chambliss

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., will take the podium May 10 in Sanford Stadium for undergraduate Commencement. The spring ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. and will recognize Mary Frances Early, UGA’s first African-American graduate, with an honorary doctor of laws degree.

The graduate Commencement ceremony, which will be held at 10 a.m. in Stegeman Coliseum, will feature UGA professor Stephen Hajduk, head of the biochemistry and molecular biology department in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. Tickets are not required for either ceremony.

“Sen. Chambliss is a genuine public servant and a true statesman for our time,” said UGA President Michael F. Adams. “He understands the deep and abiding value of education, not just for the individual but for society as a whole, and he has been a great friend of the University of Georgia. We are honored that he has agreed to speak at Commencement, and I look forward to his remarks.”

Chambliss was elected to Congress in 1994 as representative of Georgia’s 8th District, and, in 2002, was elected to the U.S. Senate. His re-election in 2008 placed Chambliss as Georgia’s senior senator, a position from which he will retire in 2014.

Chambliss is vice chairman of the Senate Selection Committee on Intelligence and oversees the programs and activities of the country’s intelligence community, crafts legislation designed to protect Americans and advises leadership on threats.

Chambliss received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from UGA in 1966 and his juris doctorate from the University of Tennessee in 1968.

Research in the Hajduk laboratory has been supported by the National Institutes of Health for nearly 30 years. He and his lab focus on the molecular biology and biochemistry of trypanosomes, the causative agent of human African sleeping sickness. Their studies address several basic molecular processes in the pathogens to gain a better insight into the basic biology of trypanosomes and explore new approaches for disease intervention.

Before joining the faculty at UGA, Hajduk’s lab was based at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass., where he was a senior scientist and director of the Ellison Global Infectious Disease Program and a professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at Brown University.

Hajduk has come full circle at UGA, receiving his bachelor’s degree in science at the university in 1976. He earned his doctorate from the University of Glasgow in 1980 and was a visiting scholar at the University of Amsterdam in 1979 and a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University from 1980 to 1983.