Special to The Star
The Meridian Star
Congressman Gregg Harper, representing the Third Congressional District of Mississippi, will be the keynote speaker at spring commencement on Friday at Mississippi State University-Meridian.
Harper will speak to graduates at 11 a.m. at the MSU Riley Center for Performing Arts and Education. Approximately 131 students are scheduled to receive their degrees.
Harper is currently serving his third term in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was first elected to Congress in November of 2008.
"The son of a former petroleum engineer and a mom who worked two days a week until she was 88 years old, Harper learned at a young age the value of hard work and the importance of a solid education," an MSU press release states.
He is a graduate of Mississippi College where he majored in Chemistry. He then earned his law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1981.
Prior to his service in Congress, Harper practiced law for 27 years, including serving as the prosecuting attorney for the cities of Brandon and Richland. He also served on the Mississippi Oil and Gas Board. He remains active in his community as a member of both the Pearl and Rankin County Chambers of Commerce.
In Congress, he serves on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce where he is a member of three subcommittees: Environment and the Economy; Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade; and Oversight and Investigation.
As the state's senior House Republican, he also sits on a select committee on House Administration - a special appointment made by House Speaker John Boehner. He also serves as chairman of the Joint Committee of the Library of Congress.
"Harper is devoted to working with families raising special needs children and as a member of Congress has relentlessly aimed to streamline federal programs and services intended to be a support to youth with significant disabilities in transition from adolescence to adulthood," the press release states.
Harper has lived in Mississippi's Third Congressional District since 1972 and currently resides in Pearl with his wife of 34 years, Sidney, and their two children, Livingston and Maggie. The Harpers are active members of Crossgates Baptist Church in Brandon, where Gregg Harper serves as a deacon.