Tommy Thompson, Wisconsin’s governor from 1987 to 2001, will address the 2016 Class of the La Follette School of Public Affairs during a graduation ceremony Sunday, May 15. Approximately 40 students will be honored during the invitation-only ceremony in the Assembly Chamber at the Wisconsin Capitol that day.
Thompson also will receive an honorary degree from the University of Wisconsin–Madison on May 13. The La Follette School and the Department of Political Science nominated Thompson, who received bachelor’s and law degrees from UW–Madison in the 1960s.
Professor Donald Moynihan will be the faculty speaker, and Alisha Bower will be the student speaker. Bower, who grew up on a small hobby farm in southwestern Wisconsin, received her bachelor degrees in political science and Spanish. A La Follette faculty members since 2005, Moynihan recently received the Leon D. Epstein Distinguished Faculty Research Award from UW-Madison's College of Letters & Science.
Thompson was the longest serving governor in Wisconsin’s history when President George W. Bush named him secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In 2014, Thompson gave the Paul Offner Lecture at UW-Madison.
The honorary degrees, as well as doctoral and some professional degrees, will be presented at the 5:30 p.m. commencement ceremony on Friday, May 13 at the Kohl Center.