Skip Navigation
UT wordmark
College of Liberal Arts wordmark
plan2 masthead
Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

2010 Plan II Honors Commencement Convocation

Saturday, May 22, 2010

9:00 am

Hogg Memorial Auditorium

Reception immediately following the ceremony at the Ballroom of the Texas Union, third floor

Plan II Honors 2010 Commencement Speaker:  

James Scott

James Scott, Plan II Honors and Math, May 2005.  Marshall Scholar.  Assistant Professor, Department of Information, Risk and Operations Management, Red McCombs School of Business.James Scott

James Scott was born in Alvin, Texas and spent his childhood in Katy, Texas.  He entered the University of Texas as a freshman with majors in Plan II Honors and math in 2000, after graduating from Katy High School.  

James remembers his Plan II first-year class in Bayesian inference—a mysterious subject at the time.   The course lottery which awarded him one of the 18 seats in that class was an important twist of fate.  He went on to study statistics in earnest.

James credits Dr. Jefferys’ class in his first year in Plan II as the most important step to eventually earning a Marshall Scholarship to study math at Cambridge University for two years.  After two years of math studies, a lot of rowing and meeting his (now) fianceé, Abbie, whom he will marry in Cambridge this summer, James returned to the States to earn his Ph.D. In statistics at Duke University in North Carolina.

In the spring of 2009, James accepted position at the University of Texas as a professor of statistics with a joint appointment with the Division of Statistics and Scientific Computation and the McCombs School of Business.  His  current research involves understanding correlations in the patterns of neuron firing that accompany various high-level cognitive tasks.  James says that one of the greatest pleasures he’s experienced since moving back to Austin is having Plan II students in his class.  In a class he teaches on regression, which is the art of deducing underlying trends in a large body of data, he knew he’d found a Plan II major when I had a student visited office hours one day to intent on a discussion comparing regression with Hume's views on induction.

James Scott at Graduation

James Scott gives the Commencement Address

Student Speaker: 

      Christopher Smith      Christopher Smith 

Christopher Smith fell in love with Plan II the moment he heard the words "cookie jar" and has enjoyed a blissful romance for the past four years. This happy couple has shared many adventures together, from the falls of Iguazu to the cobbled streets of Rome, but the best memories come from Austin, in Carothers 007A, where their courtship began. He may have strayed to a second major in Biology, but his heart has always belonged to Plan II.

Sadly, they will be separating in the fall, as Christopher moves to Africa to realize his dream of a live action re-imagining of The Lion King, and teach secondary science with the Peace Corps. Although their time together was relatively brief, and the future will take them continents apart, they have each been made better by the other, so Christopher and Plan II will never truly be separated.

Chris Smith  Christopher Smith, May 22, 2010

2009/2010 Plan II Honors Chad Oliver Teaching Award Recipient:

   Jim Vick  James Vick, Mathematics 

The Plan II Chad Oliver Teaching Award is presented each year, at the Plan II Commencement Convocation, to a Plan II professor for excellence in teaching. The recipient is chosen entirely by a committee of students on the basis of student nominations.

Formerly known as the Plan II Teaching Award, the prize 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.

A professor mathematics at UT Austin since 1970, Jim Vick served as the associate dean of academic and student affairs in Natural Sciences for twelve years and as the vice-president of student affairs for the University of Texas for sixteen years.

Dr. Vick

As vice-president, Jim brought about significant improvements to make student life on this campus more successful and more fulfilling, including:

  • Creation of the honors residence halls and the University Honors Center
  • Freshman Interest Groups (FIGs)
  • The new Student Services Building
  • Creation of honors residence halls and the Honors Office
  • Renovation of Gregory Gymnasium
  • The new San Jacinto Residence Hall
  • Creation of the Undergraduate Advising Center
  • Creation of the Freshman Reading Roundup program
  • The introduction of new student programs like 40 Acres Fest and Texas Revue 

He has won numerous teaching awards, including the Jean Holloway Teaching Excellence Award, the William Blunk Professorship, President's Associates Teaching Award, AMOCO Teaching Excellence Award and CASE Professor of the year for the State of Texas.  
In 1992, the Texas Exes James W. Vick award was established to encourage and promote high quality of advising by recognizing individuals whose relationships with students have improved their overall experience at The University of Texas at Austin. Also in 1992,  Dr. Vick was appointed as an Ashbel Smith Professor. Until June 1996 he was the university's faculty athletic representative to the NCAA and the Southwest Conference. In spring 1996, he was elected to the university's Academy of Distinguished Teachers. 
In 2008 Vick was awarded the Nowotny Medal in recognition of his contribution to student affairs and in 2009 he was a recipient of The University of Texas System Board of Regents Award for undergraduate teaching.  This month, Dr.Vick was announced as one of 5 recipients of the 2010 Piper Professor Award given by the San Antonio-based foundation. Since 1958, the Piper Foundation has awarded $5,000 annually to professors for outstanding scholarly achievement and dedication to the teaching profession. 


Provided by Mariachi Estrella   Mariachi Estrella

Plan II Students

Plan II Students at Commencement Convocation at Hogg Memorial Auditorium

The Eyes of Texas Convocation Finale  Plan II Graduates sing The Eyes of Texas

Dean Diehl congratulates a Plan II studentDean Diehl congratulates a Plan II Graduate


The commencement convocation ceremony will be immediately followed by a light brunch reception in the Texas Union Ballroom.

Ticket information for Plan II Honors Convocation:

Graduating Plan II Honors graduating seniors do NOT need a ticket for the Plan II Honors Graduation Convocation.

All other guests must have a ticket to enter the Hogg Memorial Auditorium. Disregard ''balcony'' or ''orchestra'' designation on tickets: THERE IS NO RESERVED GUEST SEATING. Seating is ''first-come, first-seated.''

The doors to Hogg Auditorium will not open until 8:30 am.

Each graduating senior may pick up SIX (6) tickets for family and guests, from APRIL 26 THROUGH MAY 7, at the Plan II Honors Program office front desk. Each senior will be asked to sign for the number of tickets he/she picks up.

Tickets will not be reserved for seniors who do not pick up tickets on or before the deadline.  Because we will not have more tickets than available seats, we hope seniors will not pick up more tickets than they expect to use. Please do not pick up six tickets if you know you will only have 4 or 5 guests! 

On MAY 10 (tentative date), all remaining Plan II Honors Graduation Convocation tickets will be released on a ''first-come, first-served'' basis to those seniors who expect more than 6 guests. 

NOTA BENE: Graduating seniors who walk in the evening University-wide ceremony on Saturday night DO need a ticket.


The most convenient parking for the Plan II Graduation Convocation should be readily available in UT Parking Garage #2 on San Antonio Street (one block west of Guadalupe Street) between 24th Street and 25th Street.  On May 21 and May 22 no permits are required and no charges will be incurred at University garages.

Guest drop-off for seniors and those with disabilites is possible at the front door of Hogg Memorial Auditorium. There is very limited disabled parking at Hogg Auditorium on Saturday, May 22. If driving east on 24th Street, turn right at Inner Campus Drive and right again at the Yield Sign at the turtle pond. This will take you to the front of the Hogg Memorial Auditorium where you may drop-off guests before parking at another spot. You must mention ''Plan II Honors commencement at Hogg Auditorium'' to the guard to be allowed entrance to the inner campus area.

Cap and Gowns:

University Co-op   Bachelors Regalia Set (cap, gown, stole, and tassel):  $49.98

March 3:  Graduation Department Opens in the Co-op Outlet

May 14:  Last day for Bachelors students to purchase regalia.

Special Needs: 

Special services are available to accommodate needs for individuals with disabilities. If you require accommodations adaptive equipment, please contact Jennifer Scalora (512 471-1442) at least five days prior to Commencement activities. Campus resources and a map with details of accessibility on campus are available at Disability Resources Home. 

Students needing accommodations should also notify Jennifer Scalora (512 471-1442) and work with Services for Students with Disabilities (512 471-6259; TTY 512 471-4641).

Invitations and Announcements:

Printed invitations and announcements for mailing to family and friends may be ordered from the University Co-op at each of its three locations. Commencement invitations and announcements should be purchased by MONDAY, MAY 2 and mailed by FRIDAY, MAY 6 to ensure delivery."

University Co-op

Theyhave a wide variety of package sizes, students may purchase personalized invitations as low as $10.00 for a set of 10.  Turn-around time is 2-5 business days.  We recommend students send invitations out to arrive at least 2 weeks prior to the ceremony.

Students may shop online at, or visit:
-Graduation Department in the Co-op Outlet
2304 Guadalupe St.
Austin, TX 78705
800-255-1896 option 7

-Co-op East
2902 Medical Arts
Austin, TX 78705

Information for Visitors Coming from Outside of Austin

See more information on graduation at:

The College of Liberal Arts


The University of Texas Commencement 2010

(includes cool video and schedules of the two days of events and ceremonies)

bottom border