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Page named 2004 commencement speaker

Maureen Reynolds | Wednesday, March 17, 2004

University officials announced Tuesday that Justice Alan C. Page, a Minnesota Supreme Count Justice and graduate of the class of 1967 will serve as the principle speaker during the University’s 159th Commencement ceremony May 16. University President Father Edward Malloy said in a statement that Page was chosen because his ideals reflect the mission of the University.”We speak in our mission statement of Notre Dame creating an environment that ‘fosters the development in its students of those disciplined habits of mind, body and spirit,'” Malloy said. “Few of our graduates better epitomize these ideals than Alan Page.”During the ceremony, Page will be presented with an honorary doctor of humane letters degree, his second honorary degree from the University. Page received an honorary doctor of laws degree in 1993.Furthermore, the Notre Dame Alumni Association bestowed the Rev. Edward F. Sorin, C.S.C., Award on Page for distinguished service to the University in 1992 and was a member of the Notre Dame Law School Advisory Council from 1993 to 1999.”It is testimony to the tremendous respect we have for [Page] that we would invite him to accept a second honorary degree and, this time, speak to our graduating class,” said Malloy in his statement. “We’re delighted that he has accepted and will honor us with his presence.”Page became the first black justice to sit on the Minnesota Supreme Court in 1993. His earlier law career includes time as the state’s assistant attorney general and with the law firm of Lindquist & Vennum.While attending Notre Dame, Page played defensive end on the football team, and as a senior he helped lead the Irish to a national title in 1966. He graduated in 1967 with a bachelor’s degree in pre-law and was drafted by the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings. Page earned his law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1978 while continuing his NFL career.Page, along with his wife, Diane, also established the Page Education Foundation in 1988. The foundation provides college scholarships for minority students to attend Notre Dame and other colleges and universities in Minnesota. “There are Notre Dame students who are attending the University on the Page Educational Grants that they have received,” said Dennis Brown, associate director of news and information. “For 10 or 12 years, [the scholarships were] exclusively for Minnesota students to attend Minnesota colleges and universities. … This is a fairly new component to the foundation, and [Page] is very proud of that. We’re certainly delighted to have that.”