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Congressman to speak at Commencement

Congressman John Tanner will give the keynote address during the Austin Peay State University Commencement, slated for 2 p.m., Friday, May 2 in the Dunn Center.

Although APSU holds three Commencement ceremonies annually, there are more than 580 candidates for graduation during the May 2 ceremony.

In his 10th term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Tanner has served the 8th District since first elected in 1988. The 8th District encompasses portions of west and middle Tennessee.
Congressman John Tanner will give the keynote address during the Austin Peay State University Commencement, slated for 2 p.m., Friday, May 2 in the Dunn Center.

Although APSU holds three Commencement ceremonies annually, there are more than 580 candidates for graduation during the May 2 ceremony.

In his 10th term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Tanner has served the 8th District since first elected in 1988. The 8th District encompasses portions of west and middle Tennessee.

Tanner serves on the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee. As the co-founder of the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of moderate to conservative Democrats, Tanner is considered a leader in the fight to eliminate the $9 trillion federal debt.

He also chairs the U.S. delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, the civilian arm of the NATO alliance. He previously served as vice president of the organization and currently chairs its Economics and Security Committee.

After attending public schools in Union City, Tanner entered the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, on a basketball scholarship in 1962. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1966 and a law degree from its School of Law in 1968.

From 1968-72, he served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, after which he received an honorable discharge. He entered the Tennessee Army National Guard in 1972 and retired with the rank of colonel in 2000.

Tanner, who served on the House Armed Services Committee and the House Committee on Science until his appointment in 1997 to the Ways and Means Committee, was named chief deputy whip for the House Democratic Caucus in the 109th and 110th Congresses.

Besides serving as an elder in his church, he is an active supporter of St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, serving on the organization's Professional Advisory Board.

Tanner and his wife, Betty Ann, live in Union City. They have two children and three grandchildren. He and his brothers own an insurance business and farming interests in Tennessee. -- Dennie B. Burke