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Kurt Schmoke Is AACC’s Commencement Speaker

2014 Anne Arundel Community College Commencement Speaker

Kurt L. Schmoke, J.D.

May 15, 2014

Kurt L. Schmoke, who will take over the presidency of University of Baltimore in July, will address graduates and their families at Anne Arundel Community College’s 52nd Commencement at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 22, under a big tent on the athletic practice fields of the Arnold campus. 

Schmoke has worked in law, education and public service, most recently as general counsel and interim provost at Howard University. He began at Howard University in January 2003 when he was appointed Dean of Howard University School of Law, where he focused attention on increasing bar passage rates and expanding the clinical law program to emphasize issues relating to environmental justice, fair housing and civil rights. He was named vice president and general counsel at Howard University in July 2012. 

On May 14, the University System Maryland Board of Regents announced Schmoke’s appointment as president of University of Baltimore, effective July 1.

Perhaps Schmoke’s most public position was serving as the mayor of Baltimore City from 1987 to 1999. During his tenure, he initiated a number of programs in the areas of housing, education, public health and economic development. President George H.W. Bush awarded him the National Literacy Award in 1992 for his efforts to promote adult literacy, and President Bill Clinton praised Schmoke’s programs to improve public housing and community economic development, naming Baltimore one of six cities in 1994 to receive the empowerment zone designation.

After completing three terms as mayor, Schmoke became partner in the law firm of Wilmer, Cutler and Pickering. His involvement in the National Bar Association and the American Bar Association led to his chairing the Council on Racial and Ethnic Justice of the ABA. During that time, he also provided pro bono legal services to charitable organizations, including the Children’s Health Forum, a nonprofit group established to combat lead poisoning among youth.

Schmoke earned an undergraduate degree in history from Yale University. While at Yale he co-founded a child care center that has been in continuous operation since 1970 as the Calvin Hill Day Care Center and Kindergarten. He pursued graduate studies as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University and earned his Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School. His early public service includes his appointment as assistant director, White House Domestic Policy Staff under President Jimmy Carter, service as an assistant United States Attorney for the District of Maryland and five years as the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City.

Seating for the Commencement ceremony is by invitation only due to space limitations.