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Hoyer Remarks at the Installation of Bowie State University President Dr. Aminta Breaux

BOWIE, MD – Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) attended the installation of the tenth President of Bowie State University, Dr. Aminta Breaux, this morning. Dr. Breaux was named President of the University in July 2017. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:

“Good morning. I’m honored to be here representing our state’s Congressional Delegation. Congratulations to President Breaux, to the faculty and staff, to the students, and to the Board.

“When I first met President Breaux, just a few days after she began in her new role, I told her how impressed I was to learn about her success at Millersville. As people on campus and across the state have gotten to know her over the past year, it’s clear that the decision to invite her to become Bowie State’s tenth President – and the first woman to serve in that role – was the right one.

“Bowie State has seen much growth and positive change over the past decade. Former President Mickey Burnim deserves a lot of credit for the work performed during his tenure to launch Bowie State’s education innovation initiative that exposes students from underrepresented groups to careers in the sciences and technology. Now, President Breaux will have an opportunity to leave her mark on this great institution – to enhance this school and find new ways to fulfill and expand its mission.

“Last May, the community has also experienced hardship with the loss of Richard Collins, his life so tragically taken in a senseless act of violence. President Breaux has taken the helm at a time of mourning and healing. And she’s risen to the challenge with a grace and steadiness that has given all of us strength. She’s already ‘racing to excellence,’ as is our theme today.

“The core of Bowie State University, going back to its origins in the 1860’s, has always been on harnessing the power of education to transform lives for the better. When former First Lady Michelle Obama spoke at the Bowie State Commencement in 2013, she quoted Fredrick Douglass, who said: ‘Education means emancipation.  It means light and liberty.  It means the uplifting of the soul of man into the glorious light of truth, the only light by which men can be set free.’

“She praised Bowie State’s legacy as part of a network of schools established in the wake of emancipation, saying: ‘That is the story of Bowie State University, the commitment to education our next generation and building ladders of opportunity for anyone willing to work hard.’ This, ultimately, is what a Bowie State education provides its 5,600 students: a freedom to pursue every dream, a chance to uplift one’s soul through learning and the hard but fulfilling work of education.

“As Maryland’s oldest historically black university, Bowie State has long played a critical role not only in enabling students to reach for a better future but lifting entire communities as well. In Washington, I’m proud to be a part of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Caucus.

“President Breaux has already been involved for a long time in shaping national policies impacting HBCUs and other institutions of higher learning. I’ve been proud to work in Congress with my Maryland colleagues to secure federal support for Bowie State, and I’ve been proud to be a strong supporter of its three strategic priorities: academic excellence, student success, and viability of the University. I am always impressed with the students for their constant striving for excellence and their intellect and engagement when I visit Bowie State.

“Bowie State students have made the campus a place for dialogue and activism aimed at breaking down barriers and promoting diversity and inclusion in our Maryland communities and across the country. And let’s not forget cheering on the Bowie State Bulldogs, especially after last season’s extraordinary NCAA Division II trip to the playoffs!

“I look forward to working closely with President Breaux and her team to continue bringing every resource to bear so Bowie State can carry out its important and historic mission. And I congratulate, again, and wish her great success as President.” 

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