Gaston Caperton, president of the College Board, is scheduled to address Virginia Tech’s 2006 Graduate School graduates at a ceremony on Friday, May 12, at 3 p.m. at Cassell Coliseum. Approximately 1,000 Virginia Tech graduate and professional students are expected to complete their degree requirements and participate in commencement ceremonies.

Caperton was elected West Virginia’s 31st governor in 1988, and was re-elected to a second term in 1992. As governor, Caperton worked to improve education by developing a comprehensive plan that emphasized the use of computers and technology in the public schools, beginning with kindergarten through sixth grade, and later expanding to include grades 7 through 12. His aggressive school building program resulted in $800 million in investments that benefited two-thirds of West Virginia's students. He also raised teachers' salaries from 49th to 31st in the nation and had more than 19,000 educators trained through a statewide Center for Professional Development.

In 1999, Caperton became the eighth president of the College Board. During his tenure, the College Board has more than doubled its size in terms of staff, modernized its management structure, and created collegeboard.com, the nation's predominant comprehensive Web site that assists nearly four million students a year who are planning their paths to college. Also under his leadership, a new writing section has been added to the SAT, the nation's premier college admissions test.

Caperton, a graduate of the University of North Carolina, has received numerous state and national awards and special recognition, including eight honorary doctoral degrees. He was chair of the Democratic Governors' Association and served on the National Governors Association Executive Committee. He also served as chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission, Southern Regional Education Board, and the Southern Growth Policies Board.

The College Board is a not-for-profit membership association that was founded in 1900 and consists of 5,000 of the nation's leading schools, colleges, and universities. Among its best-known programs are the Advanced Placement Program® (AP®) and the SAT®.

For a complete list of past graduation speakers, click here

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become among the largest universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech’s eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.

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