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U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander and former hospital president to speak at ETSU Commencement ceremonies

April 24th, 2014 12:11 pm by Contributed - ETSU

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander and former hospital president to speak at ETSU Commencement ceremonies

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander and ETSU alumna Ellen Wilhoit

Sen. Lamar Alexander will be the keynote speaker at East Tennessee State University’s 10 a.m. spring commencement exercises, and ETSU alumna Ellen Wilhoit will address those at the 2 p.m. ceremony on Saturday, May 10. Both ceremonies will be held in the ETSU/Mountain States Health Alliance Athletic Center (the Minidome).

Alexander, U.S. Senator from Tennessee, was born in Maryville and is a seventh-generation Tennessean. The only Tennessean ever popularly elected both governor and U.S. Senator, he has been U.S. Education Secretary and University of Tennessee president. He chaired the National Governors Association and President Reagan's Commission on Americans Outdoors.

Three times between 2007 and 2012, his colleagues elected Sen. Alexander Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference — the third-ranking Republican position in the United States Senate. He is the ranking Senate Republican overseeing education, labor and health, as well as energy appropriations.

Wilhoit recently retired as president and chief administrative officer of the LeConte Medical Center in Sevierville.

She graduated from East Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in 1979. For the past 38 years, she has built on the foundation gained at ETSU to become a leader in the health care field.

Her years of service include beginning her career as a childbirth educator and CPR instructor at Laughlin Memorial Hospital in Greeneville. In 1999, Wilhoit became president and chief administrative officer of the Fort Sanders Sevier Medical Center, which is now called LeConte Medical Center.

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