SPECIAL TO THE FLORIDA COURIER
U.S. Rep. Val Demings will serve as the keynote speaker for Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law’s annual graduation on Saturday, May 11. The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. at the Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts, 445 South Magnolia Avenue, Orlando.
Demings will address about 125 new graduates of the FAMU College of Law, including members of the fall 2018, spring 2019 and summer 2019 classes.
“Representative Val Demings is a friend to Orlando and to the FAMU College of Law,” said FAMU Law Interim Dean LeRoy Pernell. “We are looking forward to hearing her words of wisdom and inspiration to the 15th graduating class since the FAMU College of Law re-opened in Orlando.”
Former police chief
The first in her family to graduate college, Demings worked as a social worker, then joined the Orlando Police Department. After a 27-year career, she was selected as chief for the Orlando Police Department – the first woman to hold that position.
During her tenure as chief, Demings reduced violent crime by 40 percent and founded new community engagement programs including “Operation Positive Direction,” a youth mentoring program.
In 2016, Demings won election to Congress in Florida’s 10th District and serves on the House Intelligence, Judiciary, and Homeland Security Committees. In addition, Demings is a House Regional and Assistant Whip, Vice Chair of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, Co-Chair of Candidate Recruitment for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and served on the Elections Security Taskforce.
Demings is married to Jerry Demings, who serves as the Orange County mayor. The couple has three sons and five grandchildren.
Members of the Spring 2019 classes will have the juris doctor degree conferred in Tallahassee at the Florida A&M University Commencement on May 4. The FAMU College of Law’s Hooding Ceremony is a public event; however, seating is limited.
For more information about the FAMU College of Law, visit law.famu.edu.