O'Brien featured speaker at Tennessee Tech's May 10 Spring CommencementA woman who rose above barriers to make legislative history in Tennessee will deliver the commencement address Saturday, May 10, at Tennessee Technological University, as some 750 spring graduates prepare to set forth on the careers and life paths that await them following their time at the university.
Commencement ceremonies start at 10 a.m. in Eblen Center and will feature an address by retired state Sen. Anna Belle O'Brien of Crossville.
O'Brien chalked up two firsts early in her career when she became the first woman to be appointed to the post of committee chair and first woman to serve as chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus.
During more than two decades of service in Tennessee's General Assembly representing Senate District 12, she chaired key committees on transportation and education and served on such powerful committees as finance ways and means and the judiciary. Her contributions include successfully guiding legislation through the assembly that aided public education and being active in all phases of legislation benefiting mental health, the handicapped, retired teachers and state employees.
Active in many government, civic, political and religious organizations, O'Brien has been the recipient of numerous achievements and awards. Her family ties are equally illustrious, being the sister of the late Governor Frank G. Clement and wife of Charles H. O'Brien, a former chief justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court. The couple has lived at Lake Tansi Village in Cumberland County since 1967.