FREDONIA - U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins, D-South Buffalo, will be the featured speaker at the State University at Fredonia's 2013 commencement on Saturday.
Two ceremonies combining bachelors, master's and advanced certificate graduates will be held at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. in the university's Steele Hall arena.
Higgins is a fourth-term member of the House of Representatives, serving citizens of New York's 26th congressional district, including portions of Erie and Niagara counties.
Until recently, Higgins' district also encompassed Chautauqua County. In this role, he secured financial support for SUNY Fredonia's Business Technology Incubator.
Commencement will also be a family celebration honoring John H. Higgins, Higgins' son, who is graduating from Fredonia during the morning ceremony with a bachelor of science degree in business administration with a concentration in music business.
"It's an honor for SUNY Fredonia to welcome Rep. Higgins as our commencement speaker," said Virginia S. Horvath, SUNY Fredonia president. "He is an enthusiastic advocate for the people of Western New York, and his support of our campus and the Business Technology Incubator has been critical to our success. Because his son, John, is a member of this graduating class, Rep. Higgins has special insights for these graduates and their families."
For the current 113th Congress, Higgins was appointed to the House Committee on Homeland Security and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, where he aims to position the Western New York border community in the forefront of national discussions and help to advance the Peace Bridge project and improve border operations to strengthen economic ties with Canada. His appointment to the Committee on Foreign Affairs is timely given the existing conflicts in the Middle East and ongoing relations with China whose currency policies deeply affect the American economy.
Formerly a member of the Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee for National Security, Emerging Threats, and International Relations, Higgins has traveled extensively through some of the most volatile regions in the world and has met with world leaders to promote peace in Northern Ireland, the Middle East, South Asia and Africa, including Darfur, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Higgins was an instructor in the history and economics departments at the Buffalo State College, where he earned his undergraduate degree in political science. He also earned an advanced degree in public policy and administration from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.