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Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Plan II Honors Commencement 2015

Plan II Commencement Convocation Speaker: Robert Draper

Robert DraperRobert Draper is a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine and National Geographic Magazine. Previously, he was a correspondent for GQ Magazine and before that a staff writer at Texas Monthly. He is also the author of several books, including the novel Hadrian’s Walls and the New York Times bestselling biography Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush. He is currently at work on a book about race and murder in the nation's capital.

Draper is a native Houstonian and a 1979 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin Plan II Honors Program. He now lives in Washington D.C.

Plan II Student Convocation Speaker:  Sara Saastamoinen 

Sara SaastamoinenBorn in the small town of Kiiminki, Finland and raised in the Dallas suburb of Coppell, Sara Saastamoinen is a senior finishing her degrees in Plan II Honors and Management.

She presented her senior honors thesis at the College of Liberal Arts Honors Day and was one of twelve undergraduates selected to present at the Liberal Arts Dean’s Research Reception to recognize and honor undergraduate research projects.

Sara was given the 2014-15 Outstanding Student Award for her graduating class by the Texas Parents Association. She is a member of the Friar Society, a Churchill Scholar of the British Studies program for three consecutive semesters, and a member of two national honor societies. She led the Camp Texas summer program, through which 100 UT students serve as counselors to small groups of freshmen to teach Texas traditions and history and facilitates leadership training.

After graduation, Sara will move to Houston to begin her career working for Deloitte Consulting as a human capital analyst.

Plan II Chad Oliver Teaching Award recipient: Allen MacDuffie, English

Allen MacDuffieThe Plan II Chad Oliver Teaching Award, Formerly known as the Plan II Teaching Award, was first awarded in 1990 to Chad Oliver, who was a graduate of Plan II in the Harry Ransom years and later, for many years, a much-loved professor in Social Science 301. On his retirement, students voted to name the award for him. This honor has recognized one outstanding professor each year for his or her excellence in teaching and dedication to Plan II. Each year, the Chad Oliver Teaching award recipient is announced at the spring Plan II Honors Graduation Convocation. 

Allen MacDuffie, English professor, has been selected by Plan II students as the 2015 Chad Oliver Teaching Award Winner.  Dr. MacDuffie received his Ph.D. in 2006 from Harvard University, where he wrote a dissertation on science and the Victorian literary imagination. Portions of that work have appeared in the journals Representations and English Literary History. His first book, entitled Victorian Literature, Energy, and the Ecological Imagination, will be published by Cambridge University Press in July 2014.

Find out more about the Chad Oliver award here.


SENIORS MUST ARRIVE at the Flawn Academic Center (FAC) 21 at 8:00 am (EIGHT O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING!)  Saturday, May 23, 2015.

FAC 21 is the auditorium at ground level on the Texas Union side of the Flawn Academic Center. You may enter through the glass doors off the Union patio (across from Wendy's) or from the 1st floor lobby of the FAC (at entrance to Undergraduate Library) go down the stairs at the west end (Union-side end) of the lobby.


Give your family/guests their tickets BEFORE SATURDAY!  You will not be with them for AT LEAST one hour prior to the ceremony.

Do not bring any items that will not fit in your pockets or a small purse that can tuck UNDER your graduation robe. There is NO place to leave items during the ceremony-- the room will not be "manned" or locked and you will NOT return to this room after commencement.  Do not carry a bunch of junk in your arms or over your shoulder as you walk across the stage.  

Do not bring items for your guests/family members: you will not see each other before the ceremony.


We would like to invite each of you to our commencement reception honoring our Plan II graduates immediately following this ceremony. Students, parents, and faculty can relax and greet one another over a light brunch buffet. 

The reception will be in the Ballroom of the Texas Union (, just a few steps away from Hogg Auditorium.

PARKING:  All the UT parking garages are free on Saturday. 

The San Antonio UT Parking Garage (24th and San Antonio; Map: is the closest parking to the Hogg Memorial Auditorium (


If you plan to participate in the University-wide ceremony, YOU MUST PICK UP A TICKET to line up and participate in the Grand Procession. Tickets will be collected. Without a ticket, you will not be guaranteed a seat. Pick up your free ticket with your UT student ID up to Saturday at 4 p.m. at the following locations:

Texas Performing Arts Box Office
(23rd Street and Robert Dedman Drive)
Open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday
Special hours Friday, May 22, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday, May 23, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Frank Erwin Center Red River Box Office
(1701 Red River Street)
Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday
Special hours Saturday, May 23, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

All graduates line up south of Littlefield Fountain between 7 and 7:30 p.m. Staff and posted signs will direct you to your assembly location in this area. The Grand Procession begins at 8 p.m. You will be grouped by college/school and proceed up the South Mall to the Main Mall where you will be seated.

Although current weather predictions for Saturday evening are generally favorable, the situation could change unexpectedly. The ceremony will not move from the Main Mall if there is severe weather. You and your guests are encouraged to review inclement weather plans in advance at:

Should there be changes to the regularly scheduled program, they will be announced through a number of university communication channels.

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