Vice President Mike Pence
Vice President Mike Pence will receive an honorary degree and serve as principal speaker at the University of Notre Dame’s 172nd commencement ceremony May 21 (Sunday). He becomes the first vice president of the United States to deliver the commencement address at Notre Dame.
“It is fitting that in the 175th year of our founding on Indiana soil that Notre Dame recognize a native son who served our state and now the nation with quiet earnestness, moral conviction and a dedication to the common good characteristic of true statesmen,” said Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. “With his own brand of reserved dignity, Mike Pence instilled confidence on the state level then, and on the world stage now. We are proud to welcome him to represent the new administration.”
Pence was born in Columbus, Indiana, June 7, 1959, one of six children of Edward and Nancy Pence, who established a successful convenience store in their small Indiana city 45 miles south of Indianapolis.
Pence earned a bachelor’s degree in history in 1981 from Hanover College. He later attended Indiana University School of Law, where he met his future wife, Karen. The Pences have three children: Michael, Charlotte and Audrey. After graduating from law school, Pence practiced law, led the Indiana Policy Review Foundation, and began hosting “The Mike Pence Show,” a syndicated talk radio show, and a weekly television public affairs program in Indiana.
In 2000, he launched a successful bid for his local congressional seat, entering the U.S. House of Representatives at the age of 40. The people of East-Central Indiana elected Pence six times to represent them in Congress. He was subsequently elected by his colleagues to serve as chairman of the House Republican Study Committee and House Republican Conference chairman.
In 2013, Pence was elected the 50th governor of Indiana, and served through the end of last year. The Republican Party’s nominees for president and vice president of the United States, Donald Trump and Mike Pence, were elected Nov. 8 and took their oaths of office Jan. 20.
For a listing of previous Commencement Address speakers, please visit the Archives page.