Governor Eric Holcomb to Address Virtual Commencement

Friday, May 15, 2020
News article image

Besides presenting the Commencement address, Eric Holcomb, Indiana’s 51st governor, will be awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters as part of Rose-Hulman’s special virtual graduation on May 30.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb is planning to present the Commencement address as part of Rose-Hulman’s special virtual graduation event on May 30. He also will be awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters from the institute.

Holcomb, who was originally scheduled to speak on campus, will now record his special video address to Rose-Hulman’s Class of 2020 at the Indiana statehouse in Indianapolis due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. It will then be included with remarks from Rose-Hulman President Robert A. Coons and student speakers as part of the synchronous online ceremony, starting at 8:30 p.m. EST. Visit to view the event.

Holcomb has served Indiana citizens in several public service roles during his career. He is the state’s 51st governor after serving as lieutenant governor, a trusted advisor to Senator Dan Coates and former Governor Mitch Daniels, and a member of the U.S. Navy. He was named one of the “10 Governors Shaping the Future of Politics” by The Hill, which also highlighted Indiana’s government for being the best in the nation in 2017.

“Governor Holcomb is known as a consensus-builder and travels the state working with individuals of all political persuasions to make Indiana a better place for us all,” Coons says. “We are honored to have him as this year’s Commencement speaker and honorary doctorate recipient.”

Last spring, Holcomb brought the Indiana Economic Development Corporation’s meeting to Rose-Hulman to update Wabash Valley community leaders about the state’s economic outlook and strategic plans. The Terre Haute, Indiana-based college has been ranked the nation’s top undergraduate engineering school for 21 straight years by U.S. News and World Report.

“I’m proud of the way students have adapted and met the challenges COVID-19 has thrown our way,” Holcomb says. “While Commencement is different this year, there’s nothing that can take away the incredible accomplishments of these graduates and their exciting future ahead. Our state and nation are counting on them all to do big things and I’m honored to be a part of their send-off celebration.”

Since taking office in 2017, Holcomb has focused on improving the state’s infrastructure, battling the opioid crisis and working closely with industry and educators to bridge the divide between workers’ skills and the skills employers need. In 2019, he received TechPoint’s Mira Award for promoting the growth of Indiana’s technology sector.

Holcomb is the policy chairman of the Republican Governors Association and has emphasized integrating Indiana into the global economy. He was named International Citizen of the Year by the International Center for his contributions to globalize the state.

A native of Indianapolis, Holcomb is a graduate of Hanover College. He and his wife, Janet, reside in the governor’s residence in Indianapolis.