Feb. 4, 2009
New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg, a graduate of Columbia College, has been nominated by President Barack Obama (CC '83) to serve as Secretary of Commerce.
Judd (CC '69) is a third-term Republican senator and chairman of the Senate Budget Committee who has emphasized the importance of a fiscally responsible federal budget. If approved by the Senate, Judd will play a key role in fostering and promoting President Obama's plans for economic development and technological advancements.
"I want to congratulate Sen. Judd Gregg on his nomination to become the next Commerce Secretary of the United States," said Columbia President Lee. C. Bollinger. "A former Congressman, Governor and Senator from his home state of New Hampshire, Gregg joins President Obama and a growing list of Columbians who have been tapped for key roles in leading our nation at this critical moment. Gregg has credited his time at Columbia and in New York for giving him both the intellectual and real-world experience needed to pursue a life of effective public service. We wish him every success."
Gregg is the second Columbia College alumnus to be nominated to serve in the Cabinet. Eric Holder (CC '73, LAW '76) was sworn in as Attorney General on Feb. 3.
Gregg became involved in national politics by coordinating the New Hampshire presidential primary campaigns of Ronald Reagan in 1976 and George H.W. Bush in 1980. He won a seat in Congress in 1980 and spent eight years in the House of Representatives. He also served as Governor of New Hampshire from 1989 to 1993, when he was first elected to the U.S. Senate. As a freshman senator, Gregg moved into the former office of John F. Kennedy and helped maintain Columbia College's streak of having at least one alumnus serving in every session of the Senate.
Of his years at Columbia, Gregg said, "If I wanted to just go to a college, I would have gone to Dartmouth, Yale or Cornell," Gregg told Columbia College Today in its July 2005 issue. "I wanted to experience New York City, and that included the energy of its protests about civil rights, the women's movement and Vietnam." He decided to major in English and remembers his time at Columbia vividly and with affection.
"Columbia was a great experience and helped lay a great foundation," he said. "I got exactly what I wanted from Columbia, and I began to see the world in a different light."
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