Westminster commencement to feature Danforth as speaker

Former U.S. Sen. John C. Danforth will be the featured speaker Saturday to the graduating class of 2012 at Westminster College in Fulton.

An estimated 230 students will receive degrees during the ceremony at 2 p.m. Saturday in Champ Auditorium.

Danforth represented Missouri in the U.S. Senate for 18 years from 1976 to 1994, when he did not seek re-election. Known as the conscience of the Senate, Danforth was ordained to the clergy of the Episcopal Church.

Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate, Danforth served eight years as attorney general of Missouri from 1968 to 1976.

From 1997 to 2001, Danforth was chairman of the Danforth Foundation, a philanthropic organization dedicated to strengthening the St. Louis metropolitan area.

After his Senate career, Danforth was appointed to various other offices. He served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations from 2004 to 2005. In 2001 President George Bush appointed Danforth as a Special Envoy for Peace to Sudan in northern Africa. The peace talks settled the 17-year civil war between northern and southern Sudanese.

In 1999 U.S. Atty. Gen. Janet Reno appointed Danforth to lead an investigation into the FBI’s role in the 1993 Waco siege.

Danforth now serves as a partner in the international law firm of Bryan Cave LLP in St. Louis. The firm has 24 offices worldwide with more than 1,100 lawyers, including 245 in St. Louis.

Other speakers at commencement Saturday will include remarks by Bob Muehlhauser, chairman of the Westminster Board of Trustees and Westminster President Dr. George P. Forsythe.

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