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Anne Holton '80 named as 2017 Baccalaureate speaker


Anne Holton ’80 has been selected to be the Baccalaureate Speaker for the 2017 Commencement in May.

Holton was the former Secretary of Education for the state of Virginia, and is the wife of Virginia Senator Tim Kaine. Kaine was the Democratic Vice Presidential candidate in the 2016 election.


Holton is the daughter of former Virginia Governor A. Linwood Holton, and graduated from the University with a degree from the Wilson School. She was also a member of Colonial Club.

In 1983, she earned her JD from Harvard Law School, where she was on the Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee. In 1984, she married her husband, Tim Kaine, and moved to Richmond where she still currently resides.

From 1985 to 1998, she worked as an attorney for the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society, where she established a volunteer lawyers' program in Richmond. In 1998, she became the Chief Judge of the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court in Richmond, where her husband had just been elected mayor.

In 2002, Holton became the Second Lady of Virginia following her husband's election as Lieutenant Governor, and in 2006, she became the First Lady of Virginia. As First Lady, Holton started the For Keeps Families for all Virginia Teens initiative, which found stable families willing to take in older foster children. In 2008, she headed Virginia's Women for Obama group.

In 2010, after Kaine's term as Governor ended, Holton became the director of the Great Expectations program, which helped foster children attend schools in the Virginia Community College System. In 2014, she was named Secretary of Education by Governor Terry McAuliffe. Holton opposed high-stakes testing and charter school expansion, but supported teacher pay increases and curriculum changes. In 2016, she resigned to join her husband's campaign for Vice President.

She received the Metropolitan Richmond Women's Bar Association's Women of Achievement Award in 1995 and the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Life Award of Distinction.


Holton serves on many education and youth development foundations, and is a longtime clog dancer.

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