Rep. Becca Balint to speak at Commencement


Becca Balint

United States Representative Becca Balint has been chosen as commencement speaker for both of Northern Vermont University campuses. It will be NVU’s last ever commencement prior to the July 1 launch of Vermont State University
Balint is the first female and openly LBGT Vermont congressional representative. She considers herself a progressive leader with a deep sense of justice, empathy, and service.

According to her website, “as the daughter of working-class, immigrant parents, Becca is deeply committed to defending the American democracy and protecting vulnerable communities.”

Balint began her career as a middle school teacher in Windham County, Vermont.

After 14 years, she moved on, becoming an activist, state senator, and ultimately the Senate’s President Pro Tempore in 2021. In her eight years in the state senate, Balint served on the Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs, Finance, and Rules committees.

While majority leader, Balint led the passage of the first gun safety laws in the state’s history, aimed at keeping Vermont children, communities, and survivors of abuse safe.

Balint also worked to secure the largest housing investment in Vermont in decades, in order to rebuild housing stock, as well as expand middle-income housing.

In her new role in Congress, Rep. Balint is a member of two Oversight Subcommittees: Health Care and Financial Services, and the Government Operations and the Federal Workforce Subcommittee, where she was recently named Vice Ranking Member.

She is vice chair of the Congressional Caucus for the Equal Rights Amendment, Congressional Progressive Caucus vice chair for New Members, and a co-chair of the Congressional Equality Caucus. She was also named to the Budget Committee for the 118th Congress.

Balint has a BA from Smith College, an M.A. in history from U-Mass Amherst, and a M.Ed. from Harvard University.
According to Interim Academic Dean, Les Kanat, “The graduation speaker was decided by an ad-hoc faculty committee along with Provost Atkins’ office. There were several names brought forth.”

As of press time the student speakers have not been decided.

In a departure from previous graduation ceremonies, commencement will begin on the Johnson Campus at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 13.