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KNOXVILLE — Governor Phil Bredesen is scheduled to speak at the University of Tennessee’s Fall 2004 Commencement at 9 a.m. Dec. 10 in Thompson-Boling Arena.

More than 1,870 undergraduate and graduate degrees will be awarded. The public is welcome.

“Governor Bredesen has a wealth of experience and advice to pass on to our graduates,” UT-Knoxville Chancellor Loren Crabtree said Wednesday. “We are honored to have him deliver the Commencement address.”

Bredesen became the 48th governor of Tennessee in January of 2003.

During his first year in office, Bredesen focused on increasing funding for public education, job creation, and economic growth. He was the first governor to invite the public into the state’s budget hearings to see how their tax dollars are spent.

In his capacity as governor, Bredesen is also chairman of the UT Board of Trustees.

Bredesen was raised in Shortsville, New York, and earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from Harvard University. He and his wife, Andrea Conte, moved to Nashville in 1975, and built their business, HealthAmerica Corp., into a publicly-traded company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. They sold the company in 1986.

Bredesen served as mayor of Nashville from 1991 to 1999. During these eight years he increased funding for the local school system by more than a half billion dollars and brought the Tennessee Titans professional football team to Nashville.

Parking to attend Commencement will be available at the G-10 parking garage on Phillip Fulmer Way and the parking lot adjacent to Andy Holt Tower.