Former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education Richard W. Riley was recently inducted into the South Carolina Higher Education Hall of Fame by the Harry M. Lightsey Jr. Society. The honor, bestowed by the South Carolina Higher Education Foundation, recognizes individuals who have contributed in extraordinary ways to higher education in South Carolina.

Walden University’s Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership is named in honor of Secretary Riley for his tireless commitment to improving education in the United States for more than three decades, first as governor of South Carolina and then nationwide when President Bill Clinton selected him to head the U.S. Department of Education in December 1992. As the country’s top education administrator over the course of two terms, Secretary Riley helped launch historic initiatives to raise academic standards in all 50 states, improve instruction for the poor and disadvantaged, and expand grant and loan programs to help more Americans pursue higher education.

“Walden is proud of its affiliation with one of the nation’s top leaders in the education profession,” says Victoria Reid, vice president of The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership. “Secretary Riley exemplifies so many of the ideals we embrace here at Walden, including his commitment to providing all students with the highest quality education and his focus on diversity in education.”

Secretary Riley is currently co-chair of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy group dedicated to improving teaching quality nationwide, and a trustee of the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Walden University was ranked by U.S. News & World Report as having the largest online graduate program in education by enrollment in January 2008. The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership at Walden offers teachers and aspiring teachers numerous options for career development and opportunities to make a broader contribution to children in schools and communities.

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