Commencement 2013 : Keynote Speaker
Governor McDonnell was sworn in as the 71st governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia on Jan. 16, 2010. In his campaign for the office he received nearly 59 percent of the vote, and the most votes of any candidate for governor in Virginia history.
Governor McDonnell inherited an unprecedented $6 billion in budget shortfalls. He defeated a proposed $2 billion increase in the state income tax, kept existing car tax relief in place and brought Democrats and Republicans together to close the shortfall without a single tax increase, producing a $400 million surplus.
In 2011, he saw 92 percent of his legislative proposals pass the bi-partisan General Assembly, including his plan that made the largest investment in transportation in Virginia in a generation and advanced 900 projects toward construction, and legislation to make college more affordable and accessible for Virginia students.
In 2012, 88 percent of Governor McDonnell’s legislative agenda was approved by the Virginia General Assembly, including measures to make significant investments in K-12 education and higher education, and a reform package that put the most state funding in history into Virginia’s pension system.
The governor has dedicated his life to public service. He served 21 years in the U.S. Army, both active duty and reserve, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1997.