WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., April 4, 2019 — Congressman David B. McKinley, P.E., will deliver the commencement address at West Liberty University’s Spring 2019 Commencement Ceremony. The ceremony begins at 11 a.m., Saturday, May 4, in the Academic, Sports and Recreation Complex (ASRC).
WLU President Stephen Greiner will preside at the ceremony and will present McKinley with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.
“We are grateful that Congressman McKinley will join us as our Commencement speaker. He is a respected national leader and we are honored by his presence,” Greiner said.
Congressman McKinley represents West Virginia’s First Congressional District, providing a consistent and independent voice for his fellow Mountaineers.
As the chairman of the Congressional Coal Caucus and a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, McKinley has continually fought for coal miners. In 2017, he secured a permanent fix for the health care benefits of 22,000 retired miners and their families that were threatened by coal company bankruptcies. That year, he also introduced the American Miners Pension Act, which would avert the looming insolvency of the UMWA Pension Plan.
McKinley has called for improving and expanding access to health care services for rural communities and small towns and is leading the effort to protect the 340B Drug Discount Program, which offers discounts to health care providers who deliver uncompensated care to underserved populations. McKinley also was a leader on the efforts to reauthorize the Community Health Center and Children’s Health Insurance Programs.
McKinley is recognized in Congress as a champion in the fight against the scourge of the opioid epidemic that is ravaging America. In addition to sponsoring numerous bills to increase access to education, treatment, and enforcement funding; he has been a voice for rural states that haven’t received their fair share of the funding to fight back against this crisis. As a result of his efforts, West Virginia is set to receive nearly $28 million this year, up from last year’s total of $5.8 million.
He has also been a leader on the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s investigation into the opioid crisis. In that investigation, he has been going after opioid distributors for the nearly 800 million pills they shipped into small communities throughout West Virginia, calling on the DEA to increase their oversight of these companies, and he is holding manufacturers accountable for their role in filling suspicious orders and for breaks in their supply chain management.
McKinley successfully led the effort to expand the Brownfields Program and led the effort to expand the Historic Preservation Tax Credit.
Despite gridlock that often dominates the nation’s capital, McKinley has been very effective. Nearly every bill he has introduced has Democratic support. He has authored over 60 amendments and 11 bills that have been passed through the House and two of those bills have been signed into law.
In 2019, a report published by the Lugar Center cited McKinley as one of the most bi-partisan members in all of Congress. Because of this record of results, McKinley is widely recognized as a bi-partisan problem solver whose focus is to improve the quality of life for West Virginia’s families.
Every year, he travels throughout the district and conducts over 250 meetings, roundtables, and events to listen to the people he represents.
As a successful entrepreneur, McKinley created hundreds of jobs in the private sector and understands the vital role small businesses play in strengthening the economy. A native of Wheeling, McKinley is one of only three professional engineers in Congress.
He and his wife Mary, a registered nurse, have four children and six grandchildren.
Doors open for seating at commencement at 9:30 a.m. and the Commencement Ceremony will be televised live on WLU-TV 14 (Comcast Channel 14) and online at wltvonline.com.
A reception for graduates, guests and families will be held in the College Union immediately following the ceremony. Parking will be available for guests behind the ASRC.
Established in 1837, West Liberty University is a forward-looking, four-year public university steeped in a rich heritage as West Virginia’s oldest institution. Today it offers more than 70 undergraduate majors, plus a growing number of graduate programs.
For more information on WLU, please call 1.866.WESTLIB or visit westliberty.edu.