Governor Howard Dean, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and Founder of "Democracy for America," to speak at Naropa University Spring 2011 Commencement

BOULDER, Colo. (March 18, 2011) -- Naropa University's commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 7, 2011 at 3 p.m. in Macky Auditorium at the University of Colorado Boulder will feature Howard Dean, former governor of Vermont, chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2005-2009, current CNBC contributor and founder of "Democracy for America" as keynote speaker.

Howard Dean's groundbreaking campaign for the U.S. Presidency in 2004 and subsequent four years as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee have positioned him as a leading progressive reformer on issues related to the U.S. economy, foreign trade policy and international relations. Dean founded "Democracy for America" in 2004 to build on the groundswell of support and the wave of new energy sweeping the Democratic Party. Since that time, "Democracy for America" has been dedicated to working on the grassroots level to elect fiscally responsible and socially progressive candidates to all levels of government.

Dean's 12 years as Governor of Vermont, as well as his Chairmanship of the National Governor's Association have given him a vast knowledge of domestic issues. His skillful stewardship of the party as Democratic National Committee chair began in 2005 and continued through the inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2009. As Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Governor Dean transformed the Democratic Party into being competitive in every race, district, state and territory, while at the same time integrating national and state party operations and clearly articulating the Democratic Party's core values.

Before entering politics, Dean graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in political science in 1971, and received his medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City in 1978. Upon completing his residency at the Medical Center Hospital of Vermont, he went on to practice internal medicine in Shelburne, Vermont.

Having once worked as a teacher in New Haven, Connecticut, Governor Dean has long been a tireless proponent of accessibility to affordable and quality higher education. During his 2004 presidential candidacy, Dean proposed an incentive-based philanthropic program for middle school students on a college track, as well as fiscally-minded approaches to managing student loan debt and increasing support for AmeriCorps. Dean is honored to be speaking at Naropa University's commencement as he views the schools unique contemplative and progressive approach to a liberal arts education as "leading the way in helping to build a forward-thinking generation of community and globally-minded leaders that will shape the future of this country."

Dr. Stuart C. Lord, Naropa University President, concurs with Governor Dean: "At Naropa University, the emphasis is on providing each student with an academically rigorous and globally-minded education that produces progressive contributors to our society. The 2011 graduating class, as with past graduating classes, is primed to confidently step into the world, and apply their Naropa University education with a deep dedication to making a difference."

This spring, Naropa University will graduate students from more than a dozen undergraduate and a dozen graduate degree programs including B.A. Religious Studies, M.F.A. Writing and Poetics and M.A. Transpersonal Counseling Psychology. The commencement will also feature a faculty, undergraduate and graduate address, which will be announced later in the spring.

Governor Howard Dean:
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Naropa University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Naropa University is a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian liberal arts institution dedicated to advancing contemplative education. This approach to learning integrates the best of Eastern and Western educational traditions, helping students know themselves more deeply and engage constructively with others. The university comprises a four-year undergraduate college and graduate programs in the arts, education, environmental leadership, psychology and religious studies.