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Eleanor N.
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  • Recognizing Donald E. Graham

    by Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton

    Posted on 2014-12-11

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    NORTON of the district of columbia in the house of representatives Thursday, December 11, 2014 Ms. NORTON. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to ask my colleagues to join me in recognizing Donald E. Graham for his outstanding contributions to the nation and to the people of the nation's capital. Don Graham is best known for his unique contributions to the field of journalism, but he is also greatly admired in the District of Columbia, his hometown, as a citizen and leader.

    For more than four decades, Don Graham has played a significant role in the life of the nation and here in the District of Columbia. Don served his country for two years during the Vietnam War, prior to returning to the District of Columbia and joining the D.C.'s police department, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). At MPD, Don courageously dedicated himself to serving the residents of the District as a patrol officer in the Ninth Precinct in the Northeast section of the District of Columbia. Only after charting his life with these experiences, life changing in themselves, did Don begin his career in professional journalism, in 1971, when he joined the family business as a reporter. Don Graham proceeded to come up through the ranks of the Washington Post and eventually became Publisher of the paper and then Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Washington Post Company. During his tenure, Don Graham shepherded a historic era at the Post. Under his leadership, the Post not only won more than 20 Pulitzer Prizes, it entered into the digital age, launched a website, and began printing in color.

    Beyond his stellar accomplishments in journalism, Don Graham also has made notable contributions to the District of Columbia and its residents. He has continued a family tradition of service to the District with special attention to secondary education and higher education. Don was the driving force behind the D.C. Tuition Assistance Grant program (DCTAG), not only in our ability to achieve federal funding for higher education unique to the District, but in what it has taken to maintain it for 15 years. DCTAG has doubled college attendance in the District of Columbia, allowing D.C. students, who have no state university system, to attend any state university in the country with up to $10,000 per year in assistance. Moreover, Don has gone even further in pursuit of higher education opportunities for D.C. residents. He is a co-founder of the D.C. College Access Program, which has assisted over 13,000 D.C. students and provided over $18 million in scholarships. Most recently, Don has formed TheDream.US, a new scholarship program that seeks to assist undocumented students, who cannot qualify for federal financial aid programs. Don sold the Post to engage in other pursuits, leaving the paper in good hands to continue its distinctive contributions. However, Don Graham's dedicated public service as a private citizen continues to this day.

    Mr. Speaker, I could only summarize Donald E. Graham's achievements. Even so, it should now be clear why I ask my colleagues to join me in honoring Donald E. Graham for his service to American journalism and for his continuing service to the residents of the District of Columbia.


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