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Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Jane Garvey Awarded Clarkson University Honorary Degree

Potsdam, N.Y. -- Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Jane F. Garvey received an honorary doctor of science degree at Clarkson University's 107th Commencement in Potsdam, N.Y., on Sunday, May 14.

The degree was awarded "for her many innovative contributions in public service, and for her exemplary world leadership in implementing the Y2K air traffic control transition and in promoting safety and the modernization of the aviation industry.”

In addressing the graduates Garvey said in part, "… don’t confuse having a career with having a life. They’re very different... But I suggest to you today that there is one question that’s much more important than ‘What are you going to do with your life?,’ and that is ‘How are you going to live your life?’ Because the fact is, you’re all about to enter a world where you’ll no longer be judged by your grades, but by your character.  By the promises that you keep and the changes that you shape. By your guts and by your heart. In short, you’ll be judged by what kind of citizen you are.

“Many years ago, when I sat where you were sitting, President Kennedy challenged my generation to fight for civil rights, to join the Peace Corps, to explore space.  And now, it’s your turn.  Take some risks.  Take some chances.  Never turn down a new experience unless it’s against the law or it’s going to get you into real big trouble…

“When I graduated, I didn’t know where life would take me.  But I promised myself that I’d never play it safe, and I’ve kept that promise. And as you prepare to leave this wonderful University, my deepest hope is that you won’t play it safe either—that you’ll rise to every challenge. That you’ll pick yourself up every time you fall and you’ll stand your ground, and when necessary, stand conventional wisdom on its head…”

Jane F. Garvey, the 14th administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, was sworn in on August 4, 1997. She is the first administrator confirmed by the Senate to a five-year term. With an outstanding career in public service and extensive administrative experience, Garvey has brought to the FAA a strong commitment to ensure the world’s safest skies become even safer.

As administrator, Garvey manages a 49,000-person agency with worldwide impact and presence in promoting aviation safety and security. The FAA regulates and oversees aviation safety and security, conducts cutting edge research and development, and operates the world’s largest air traffic control system.

Administrator Garvey initiated Safer Skies, the U.S. aviation community’s safety agenda focused on lowering the accident rate. She led the successful transition of the FAA’s air traffic control system to January 1, 2000, with no disruptions to service, while providing world leadership on Y2K transition.

Under her leadership, the FAA is moving forward on its plan to modernize the air traffic control system and has, for the first time, achieved government and industry consensus on how to proceed, with a plan to deploy five specific technologies by 2002.

Previously, Garvey was acting administrator of the Federal Highway Administration, where she served as deputy administrator between 1993 and 1997 and chaired a financing initiative that led to over $4 billion in transportation investment in more than 30 states.

Before that she served as director of Logan International Airport, commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Works, and associate commissioner in the Massachusetts Department of Public works.

Garvey holds degrees from Mount Saint Mary College and Mount Holyoke College. She has participated in the Fellowship Program for Public Leaders at Harvard University.

Clarkson University is an independent institution located in northern New York, in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains. The University has 2,902 graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in its schools of Business, Engineering, Liberal Arts and Science.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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