November 30, 2017

Former White House Chief of Staff to Speak at Graduation

The University of Montevallo has announced that the speaker for fall commencement ceremonies will be Hon. Andrew H. Card Jr. The second longest tenured White House chief of staff, Card served in senior government roles for three U.S. presidents.

Fall commencement at UM will be held Friday, Dec. 8 at 5 p.m. in the McChesney Student Activity Center. A reception for graduates and their families hosted by the UM National Alumni Association will precede the ceremony at 4 p.m.

As a native of Holbrook, Massachusetts, Card got his start in politics as an elected official in Holbrook and then as member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1975-1983. He served as a minority whip from 1977 to 1983. In 1982, he was named Legislator of the Year by the National Republican Legislators Association and received the Distinguished Legislator Award from the Massachusetts Municipal Association. He was a candidate for the Republican nomination for governor of Massachusetts in 1982.

He served as special assistant (1983 to 1987) and then as deputy assistant to the president and director of intergovernmental affairs for President Ronald Reagan (1988) where he was liaison to governors, statewide elected officials, state legislators, mayors and other elected officials. He later became deputy chief of staff and then a cabinet member for President George H.W. Bush as the secretary of transportation from 1992 to 1993.

After working as president and chief executive officer of the American Automobile Manufacturers Association from 1993 to 1998, he became chief of staff for President George W. Bush. He served in this role from January 2001 to April 2006. In this capacity, he coordinated the priorities of the administration’s agenda, the development of policies and appointments of cabinet secretaries and senior officials throughout the government.

On Sept. 11, 2001, Card was the one who whispered in President Bush’s ear while the President was sitting in a classroom in Florida, that terrorists had attacked the United States. Card, then, led a government-wide reorganization to best allocate resources to deal with the aftermath of 9-11.

Since leaving the White House, Card has worked as acting dean of The Bush School of Government and Public Service and later, executive director of the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Texas A&M University. He also served as president of Franklin Pierce University.

Card currently serves on the board of directors of public corporation Union Pacific, on the business advisory board of BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics, on the advisory board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and on a number of non-profit boards. He also joined NBC News as a contributor in April 2017.

He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a B.S. in Engineering. He also attended the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Following this training, Card served in the U.S. Navy for 12 years. 

He and his wife, the Rev. Kathleene Bryan Card, also from Holbrook, have three children and six grandchildren.