Southeastern NEWS

                                                       Southeastern Louisiana University
                                           Public Information Office
                                           SLU 880, Hammond, LA 70402
                                           985-549-2341/fax 985-549-2061
    Date: 4/27/01
      Contact:                           Christina Chapple   28

Editors: Photo accompanies release
     HAMMOND   U.S. Rep. David Vitter (R-La.)  will be the keynote speaker at
Southeastern Louisiana University's May 12 commencement program scheduled at the
University Center on University Avenue.
     Southeastern will confer approximately 850 associate, bachelor's and master's degrees at
the 10 a.m. ceremony. The university also will recognize the 2001 recipients of the President's
Awards, the university's highest faculty and staff honors, which are presented in the categories of
research, teaching, the arts and service.
     Vitter has been a member of the U.S. House of Representatives since  June 1999 when he
won his First Congressional District seat in a special election to replace Bob Livingston. 
          Through Vitter's efforts, Southeastern has received a $1.8 million federal allocation to 
help expand its Alternate Teacher Certification Program and nearly $2 million for the university's
wetlands research projects in the Manchac Swamp. 
     In his first term, Vitter spearheaded successful initiatives on issues critical to Louisiana,
including authoring and passing legislation to provide $115 million for Lake Pontchartrain clean
up. He is leading the charge for regional governance at New Orleans International Airport and
has established a commission to ensure southeastern Louisiana maintains a strong military
     Vitter also has taken active roles on several important national issues. His amendment in
support of a national missile defense system passed Congress and was signed into law. He voted
for HMO reform to ensure that doctors, not insurance company bureaucrats, make medical
decisions. He took to the House floor to demand that the Senate pass lockbox legislation
preserving the Social Security surplus. His proposal to ease prescription drug access for all
Medicare-eligible military retirees was signed into law. And he continues to push for aggressive
debt reduction and tax relief.  
     Vitter serves as a member of the House Appropriations Committee, which determines
how the $1.5 trillion annual federal budget is spent. He also sits on the House Republican Policy
Committee, which determines the legislative agenda and policy positions of the House Majority. 
     Prior to his election to Congress, Vitter served seven and one-half years in the Louisiana
House of Representatives. He was honored as "Legislator of the Year" by the Alliance for Good
Government and "Outstanding Legislator" by Victims and Citizens Against Crime, from which
he also received a lifetime achievement award. 
     While serving in the state legislature, Vitter was a business attorney as well as an adjunct
law professor at Tulane and Loyola Universities. He is a graduate of the Tulane University
School of Law and Harvard University and earned a history and economics degree with highest
honors from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.
     Vitter and his wife Wendy Baldwin Vitter are the parents of three daughters and are
lectors at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Metairie. 
Press release available online at