Skip to main content

Ray MabusKNOXVILLE —Ray Mabus, the 75th US Secretary of the Navy, will address graduates at the UT College of Law’s spring hooding ceremony on Friday, May 11, at Thompson Boling Arena. The ceremony begins at 5:00 p.m.

Approximately 150 graduates will receive law degrees.

As secretary, Mabus leads the Navy and Marine Corps. He oversees almost 900,000 people and an annual budget in excess of $150 billion. He is responsible for conducting all Navy business, including recruiting, organizing, supplying, equipping, training, and mobilizing. He also oversees the construction, outfitting, and repair of naval ships, equipment, and facilities.

Prior to taking this position, Mabus held a variety of top posts in government and the private sector. In 1987, he was elected governor of Mississippi. As the youngest governor of Mississippi in more than 100 years at the time of his election, he stressed education and job creation. He passed BEST (Better Education for Success Tomorrow), a comprehensive education reform program, and was named one of Fortune Magazine’s top ten education governors. He was appointed ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the Clinton Administration in 1994. During his tenure, a crisis with Iraq was successfully averted and Saudi Arabia officially abandoned the boycott of US businesses that trade with Israel. He also was chairman and CEO of Foamex, a large manufacturing company, which he helped to lead out of bankruptcy in less than nine months.

President Barack Obama asked Mabus to prepare a long-term recovery plan for the Gulf of Mexico in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. His report, America’s Gulf Coast: A Long-Term Recovery Plan after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, was released in September 2010 and was met with broad bi-partisan support.

Secretary Mabus is a native of Ackerman, Mississippi. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi, a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University, and a law degree from Harvard Law School. He has been awarded the US Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Award, the US Army’s Distinguished Civilian Service Award, the Martin Luther King Social Responsibility Award from the King Center in Atlanta, the National Wildlife Federation Conservation Achievement Award, the King Abdul Aziz Award from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the Mississippi Association of Educators’ Friend of Education Award.

C O N T A C T :

Tanya Brown (865-974-6788,

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,