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April 2003

Release Date: April 10, 2003

Congressman Stenholm to Deliver ASU Commencement Addresses

Thirteen-term Congressman Charles W. (Charlie) Stenholm, who is the ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, will speak at Angelo State University's spring commencement ceremonies May 10 in the Junell Center/Stephens Arena.

Stenholm, who represents Texas's 17th Congressional District, including Tom Green County and ASU, will address graduates at the 10 a.m. ceremony for the College of Business and Professional Studies and the School of Education and at the 2 p.m. ceremony for the College of Liberal and Fine Arts and the College of Sciences.

Since beginning his Congressional career in 1978, Stenholm has worked to amplify the voice of mainstream rural America in the U.S. House of Representatives. His sprawling district covers 32 counties and includes Stamford where he was born. As a native son of the region, he personifies the district's traditional beliefs and conservative values and understands the needs of the area's economy, including agriculture, small businesses and oil and gas.

Known in Congress for his trademark cowboy boots and a good-natured but no-nonsense, common-sense style, Stenholm worked as a teacher and farmer before being elected to Congress. Once in Congress, he built a reputation as a bridge builder between political parties, ideological extremes and generational opposites.

His extensive agricultural experience, including his continued involvement in his Jones County family cotton farm, has served him well on the Agriculture Committee where he focuses on expanding agricultural world trade, streamlining the agricultural bureaucracy, boosting agricultural research and promoting the needs of agricultural producers and consumers.

Stenholm has consistently and persistently advanced fiscal responsibility in the federal budget, resulting in House passage of his Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment in the 104th Congress. His amendment subsequently met defeat in the Senate by just one vote.

In addition to fiscal and agricultural policy, Stenholm has been a leader on various other legislative matters, including health care, small business protections, social security, welfare reform, juvenile justice, and restricting unfunded mandates.

Stenholm graduated from Tarleton State Junior College and Texas Tech University, where he received both a bachelor's and a master's degree. He has received honorary Doctor of Law degrees from Abilene Christian, Hardin-Simmons, and McMurry Universities. The Congressman and his wife, Cindy, have three children and two grandchildren.