Former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to speak as university honors chancellor’s list students

Former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch will deliver the keynote address as Western Carolina University holds a ceremony to honor the academic success of 1,423 students who were named to the university’s chancellor’s list for spring semester 2018.

Loretta Lynch

The ceremony will begin at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18, in the performance hall of the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center. Both the ceremony and a reception that will be held afterward in the Bardo Arts Center Star Lobby are free and open to the public.

The chancellor’s list is a WCU designation to recognize students who achieve a 3.8 or higher GPA during a semester. Those being honored include 362 students who graduated following the spring semester. Invited guests for the event include the high-achieving students, their mentors on campus and the students’ families.

Lynch will speak on the topic “Empowering the Next Generation of Change Agents.” A native of Greensboro and daughter of a school librarian and fourth-generation Baptist minister, she became the nation’s first female African-American attorney general when she was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2015. She also served as head of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the eastern district of New York on two occasions, for both President Bill Clinton and President Obama. Lynch has been described by Obama as “the only lawyer in America who battles mobsters, drug lords and terrorists, and still has the reputation for being a charming ‘people person.’”

President Barack Obama (in background) announces his nominee for U.S. attorney general, Loretta E. Lynch, to succeed Eric Holder, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014.
(Official White House photo by Pete Souza)

As head of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York’s eastern district, Lynch became known for the high-profile civil rights conviction of two Brooklyn police officers who assaulted Haitian immigrant Abner Louima. In her private practice, Lynch served as a volunteer legal adviser for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, which was established to prosecute those responsible for human rights violations in the 1994 genocide in that nation.

Remarks also will be delivered during the ceremony by WCU Interim Chancellor Alison Morrison-Shetlar and Acting Provost Carol Burton.

Lynch’s visit is part of WCU’s new Distinguished Lecture Series and the ceremony is a DegreePlus event for students.

For more information, contact WCU’s Office of Student Transitions at 828-227-3017.