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U.S. Senate Confirms Anthony Foxx '93 as Transportation Secretary in Obama Cabinet

by Bill Giduz

Visit a gallery of photos of Anthony Foxx....

The U.S. Senate voted unanimously Thursday morning to confirm 1993 Davidson alumnus Anthony R. Foxx as transportation secretary. A recent member of the Board of Trustees, Foxx is the first alumnus to serve in a presidential cabinet since Dean Rusk '31, who was Secretary of State from 1961 to 1969.

The live coverage of the Senate vote on CSPAN included a tag line along the bottom of the screen identifying him as "Anthony Foxx: History Degree from Davidson College."

Raised in Charlotte's Lincoln Heights neighborhood, Foxx was the first African American student body president of Davidson. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in history, and earned his law degree from New York University.

He has served in all three branches of federal government-as a judicial clerk for the U.S. Circuit Court for the Sixth Circuit, trial attorney for the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and counsel for the House Judiciary Committee.

Davidson College President Carol Quillen offered the college community's congratulations to Foxx, saying, "Anthony has made a powerful contribution to Davidson College, as a student and a member of our Board of Trustees, and his tireless leadership as Mayor of Charlotte has raised our collective aspirations while improving daily life, particularly for our most marginalized citizens. His greatest strengths -- creativity, integrity, compassion, and an infectious energy -- will serve all Americans well in Washington, and we look forward to the great things he will inspire and accomplish."

Foxx was elected to the Charlotte City Council in 2005 and served two terms before his election as Mayor in 2009. During his tenure, he chaired the steering and host committees for the 2012 Democratic National Convention that nominated President Barack Obama for a second term.

Anthony Foxx
At the Class of 1993 Reunion in early June, Foxx received the Distinguished Alumnus Award and classmate Phelps Sprinkle '93 received the Alumni Service Award.

Foxx was on the Davidson campus in early June for his class's 20th Reunion, and received a Distinguished Alumnus Award on that occasion. The accompanying citation reads:

"Students are promised an exceptional education when they choose Davidson, and they also are promised an experience that will prepare them to live lives of leadership and service.

The Honorable Anthony Foxx is Exhibit A.

As a freshman, Anthony was elected to the Davidson College Honor Council and the Committee for Campus and Religious Life. He also was a Student Government Association senator, a member of the Solidarity Committee and the Black Student Coalition, and he was the microphone man for the football games. Two years later, he became Davidson's first African-American student body president, and as he told the Charlotte Observer in 1992, he was kind of nervous about it. He was a Davidson Scholar, a history major, an intramural athlete, and a natural-born leader.

Following Davidson, Anthony received a Juris Doctorate from New York University's School of Law. There, he was recognized as a Root-Tilden Scholar, the university's most prestigious public service scholarship.

In 2005, Anthony was elected to an at-large seat on the Charlotte City Council and was reelected in 2007. December 7, 2009 marked his first day as the mayor of Charlotte. On that day, he became the youngest individual and the second African American to carry that title and the first Democrat to hold the office since Harvey Gantt left office in 1987. His two terms have brought countless positive changes-economically and socially-to the greater Charlotte area.

Anthony's influence and impact show no signs of stopping. In fact, he is now taking his voice to a national stage. In late April, President Obama announced the nomination of Anthony as the next Secretary of Transportation, touting his vision for breaking ground on a new streetcar line, expanding Charlotte's airport, and increasing transit service in the city. He said, "All of that has not only created new jobs, it's helped Charlotte become more attractive to business."

His inspiration will unquestionably continue at Davidson as well, where he currently serves on the Board of Trustees and the Vann Center for Ethics Advisory Board. His past service includes the college's Board of Visitors and the Alumni Association Board.

When the work day is done, Anthony's life of leadership and service continues as home. He is a dedicated husband to Samara, also an attorney, and father to daughter Hillary and son Zachary.

Anthony, you make your Davidson family proud. For your unwavering dedication to public service, your giving and honest spirit, and your outstanding personal and professional accomplishments that make you a role model for all students in North Carolina and beyond, we honor you with the Distinguished Alumni Award on the occasion of the 20th Reunion of the Class of 1993."