Terry Branstad, former governor of Iowa, has been selected as Buena Vista University's commencement speaker for its graduation ceremony on Sunday, May 25, in the Siebens Fieldhouse at 3:30 p.m.
When he was first elected in 1982, Branstad became the youngest governor in Iowa's history. He served four consecutive terms until 1999 for a total of 16 years, becoming Iowa's longest-serving governor.
Believing that a highly educated workforce is one of the keys to future success, Branstad made preparing Iowa's school classrooms for the 21st century one of his top priorities while he was in office. In the mid 1990s, he paved the way for America's first statewide fiber optics telecommunications network, bringing distance learning to all Iowa schools, rural and urban alike.
"Given Gov. Branstad's commitment to both education and technology, we are pleased he will be presenting our 2003 Commencement address," said BVU President Fred Moore.
In January 1999, Branstad started his own consulting company, Branstad and Associates, L.C., based in West Des Moines. He is also a licensed financial planner with Robert W. Baird, Inc., in West Des Moines and a partner in the Washington, D.C.-based public policy firm of Kaufman, Pattee, Branstad & Miller.
Branstad currently serves on the boards of Iowa Health Systems, Featherlite, Cementech, YMCA, Living History Farms, Advanced Analytical Technologies, Inc., and Des Moines University. He received an honorary doctorate degree from Buena Vista in 1983.
A native of Leland, Iowa, Branstad and his wife, Chris, have three children: Eric, Allison and Marcus.