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News UD Alumna Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester to Give Soles Lecture

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​U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester will deliver the 2018 James R. Soles Lecture on the Constitution and citizenship.

Soles Lecture on Constitution Day, Sept. 17

Article by College of Arts and Sciences Communications Staff Photo courtesy of the office of Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester September 05, 2018

Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester to speak on Constitution, citizenship

The University of Delaware will present the eighth annual James R. Soles Lecture on the Constitution and Citizenship on Monday, Sept. 17, with an address by U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester.

The free public event will begin at 4 p.m., in Gore Recital Hall of the Roselle Center for the Arts on the University’s Newark campus. A reception in the lobby will follow the lecture. Those planning to attend are asked to RSVP by Sept. 10 to barbford@udel.edu.

Blunt Rochester made history in 2016 when she was elected as Delaware’s member of the House of Representatives, the first woman and first person of color to represent the state in Congress. She is a UD alumna who earned her master’s degree in 2002 in urban affairs and public policy.

In the House of Representatives, she serves on the committees on Education and Workforce and on Agriculture.

Blunt Rochester began her career as a caseworker for then-Congressman (now U.S. Sen.) Tom Carper. She served in the cabinets of two Delaware governors as the first African-American woman to be secretary of labor, the first African-American deputy secretary of health and social services and as state personnel director.

She has also served as CEO of the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League.

A Philadelphia native, she grew up in Wilmington and has worked on programs involving women and children in the Middle East and Africa. While living in China with her late husband, Charles R. Rochester Jr., EG84, she co-authored the book THRIVE: 34 Women, 19 Countries, One Goal, which profiles women who reinvented themselves while living in a foreign country.

About the lecture and the Soles Citizenship Endowment

The Soles Lecture honors the late James R. Soles, who was a faculty member in the Department of Political Science and International Relations for more than 34 years.

The annual lecture also commemorates the signing of the U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia on Sept. 17, 1787. (Each educational institution that receives funds from the federal government is required to hold an educational program about the U.S. Constitution for its students on Constitution Day.)

Prof. Soles, who died in 2010, received the University’s Excellence in Teaching Award twice and its Excellence in Advising Award, as well as the University’s Medal of Distinction. He received many honors and recognitions in his distinguished career, but he is still best remembered for his personal dedication to teaching and to his students. 

The James R. Soles Citizenship Endowment was established 15 years ago and supports a named professorship, undergraduate citizenship stipends and graduate fellowships.

The first stipends were awarded more than 10 years ago, and recipients have used that support in a wide range of accomplishments. To see more about recent recipients and the work they have done, visit this site.

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U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester will deliver the 2018 James R. Soles Lecture on the Constitution and citizenship.

U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester will deliver the 2018 James R. Soles Lecture on the Constitution and citizenship.

9/6/2018
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