Senator Chris Van Hollen to keynote CSM’s WInter Commencement

News Release, College of Southern Maryland

U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen To Give Graduation Keynote

U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen will deliver the keynote address at the College of Southern Maryland’s 20th Winter Commencement on Jan. 17.

The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) will recognize 541 candidates for 547 degrees and 250 certificates during its 20th Winter Commencement Jan. 17 at the La Plata Campus. The graduates range in age from 18 to 64, with 37 percent from Charles County, 33 percent from St. Mary’s County, 23 percent from Calvert County and the remainder from out of the area. Of the associate’s degree candidates, 15 percent will graduate with honors.

The keynote address will be delivered by U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen. Elected to the United States Senate in 2016, Van Hollen began his time in public service in 1991 as a state delegate in the Maryland State Legislature and continued in the role of state senator for eight years before being elected to represent Maryland’s 8th Congressional District in 2002. He became known as a tenacious advocate for everyday Marylanders.

While in the U.S. House of Representatives, Van Hollen served as a member of the leadership and was elected by his colleagues to be the senior Democratic member of the House Budget Committee and protect interests like Social Security and Medicare. As U.S. Senator, Van Hollen is a member of the Appropriations Committee, where he works to provide resources for education, workforce development and other critical national priorities.

Van Hollen is a graduate of Swarthmore College, the John F. Kennedy School of Public Policy at Harvard University, and Georgetown University Law Center where he attended night school. He and his wife, Katherine Wilkens, are the parents of three children—Anna, Nicholas and Alexander.

CSM Winter Commencement Schedule

CSM’s winter commencement activities will begin with a Nursing Recognition Ceremony at 1 p.m., Jan. 17 in the Physical Education (PE) Center on the La Plata Campus with a reception immediately following on the upper level of the PE Center.

The commencement ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. in the PE Center and tickets are required. Ticketholders are encouraged to arrive at least 30 minutes before the ceremony begins.

Doors will open for guests at 5 p.m. Doors will close when the procession begins, and guests without tickets or arriving after the doors close may view the ceremony from the Fine Arts (FA) Center, which will carry a live streaming broadcast. A reception immediately following commencement will be in the Center for Business and Industry (BI), Chaney Enterprises Conference Room BI-113.

In the event of inclement weather, a decision will be announced and posted at if commencement activities will be held on Jan. 18. Graduates and guests may also call the inclement weather hotline at 301-369-1999 or 800-650-4023.

The safety of CSM students, guests and employees is of utmost importance. CSM will conduct bag checks at commencement, and all individuals may be subject to a bag check before entry. CSM Public Safety officials encourage guests to leave large secondary bags, diaper bags and backpacks in their vehicles or at home as these will be subject to the bag check process at the door.

Due to commencement activities, the PE building at the La Plata Campus will be closed for fitness and aquatics activities on Jan. 17.

Photos from graduation will be available at For information on commencement, visit


CSM 2019 Winter Graduation Commencement. 6 p.m., Jan. 17. College of Southern Maryland, La Plata Campus, Physical Education Center (PE Building), 8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata. The College of Southern Maryland will recognize its winter graduates. Tickets are required to the PE Building; however, tickets are not required to the Fine Arts Building (FA), where the ceremony will be broadcast, but seats are limited. Guests are asked to arrive at least 30 minutes before the start of the ceremony. All guests are subject to a bag check before entry. Nursing recognition will occur at 1 p.m. in the PE Building.

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