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Commencement and Academic Ceremonies Committee

Let me begin by thanking all members of the 2004-05 Standing Committee of the General Faculty, Type C-3, Commencement and Academic Ceremonies (CAC). The committee has met twice over the past year to discuss various issues pertaining to the organization and planning of commencement and other academic ceremonies.

Kay Avant chaired the meeting in September. The committee agreed to retain the 2003-04 chairperson of the CAC, Jacqueline Angel, to facilitate the duties of University Marshal in light of the responsibilities related to the Commission 125 event.

A second meeting was held on March 23, 2005. Attending Committee Members:
Jacqueline L. Angel, Chair, Lester Faigley, Judith Jellison, Wales Madden, Susan Clagett, Susan Kessler; Excused, Patricia Avant, Gerard Béhague, Marisa Rodriguez, Teresa Brett, John Graham, Ernest Hunter, Jerry Junkin.

I. Introductions
Jacqueline Angel began the meeting by welcoming members of the committee to the meeting. The committee reviewed the agenda that included five items.

II. Report by the Chair.
Jacqueline Angel reported that a proposal was submitted from the Committee on Committees for changes to the composition of the Commencement and Academic Ceremonies (see below).

C-3 Commencement and Academic Ceremonies Committee
FUNCTION: To advise the Faculty Council, the president, and academic deans on policy matters, including selection of speakers, in planning graduation, Honors Day, and other formal academic ceremonies.

COMPOSITION: Four members of the General Faculty, two staff members, one graduate student, and two undergraduate students. Student members shall be appointed by the president in the fall from a panel of names submitted by the [appropriate student committee] Student Government and the Graduate Student Assembly. In addition, every year the chair of the Faculty Council shall appoint two members of the Faculty Council for one-year terms as members of the committee. The committee shall elect its own chair and vice chair, who shall be members of the General Faculty. A representative of the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, the director of the Physical Plant, the director of University Bands, and the executive director of the Ex-Students' Association shall serve as administrative advisers without votes.

Rationale: The change in composition is in response to a request from the Staff Council to have staff representation on appropriate standing committees and a request from the Graduate Student Assembly to have designated graduate student representation on selected committees.

No concerns were raised about the proposal under consideration by the Faculty Council.

III. Report by Susan Clagett, Associate Vice President for Public Affairs.
Susan reported on this year's commencement theme, the 2005 University-wide speaker, and the new custom doctor's regalia.

2005 Commencement theme. President Faulkner has approved the theme, "Inspiring Ambition," for the 2005 University-wide spring Commencement. The theme was derived from a review of speeches made by the president over the past year. A new theme each year is an important element in helping to keep the program vital and fresh. The theme and related graphic element appear in printed materials and on the Commencement Web site.

2005 University-wide Speaker. President Faulkner has invited Ms. Sara Martinez Tucker, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, to speak at the evening commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 21. Ms. Tucker is the recipient of the Young Texas Ex Award and has served as a member of the Commission of 125. A native of Laredo, Texas, she received her undergraduate degree in journalism, with honors, from The University of Texas at Austin. She also holds a Master of Business Administration degree from UT.

New Custom Doctor's Regalia. After five years in design and development, new custom doctor's regalia is available commercially to Ph.D. degree candidates and graduates of The University of Texas at Austin. The ceremonial robe, hood, and tam feature rich colors, fabric textures, and fabrication elements that are unique to the design and to the institution. The most prominent symbol of the University, the UT Tower, is embroidered in gold on the robe lapels. The regalia includes two pins that are worn in the clock faces of the embroidered Towers. One pin represents the institution; the other represents the graduate's academic disciplines and features a band of color representing that discipline.

IV. New Business
a. Survey of Commencement Speakers. This past year a master summary of people suggested to speak at the UT Austin Commencement was compiled. The list serves as a resource, and it will be updated as new names are submitted by members of the Standing Committee and others.
b. Announcements and Comments: Honors Day. A brief report was made on Honors Day to be held on Saturday, April 9. Two central ceremonies will be held at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Bass Concert Hall with many related college and school activities held on the same day. This year new criteria established by the Faculty Council are in effect over the past 10 years or so students attending UT have become much stronger. The new criteria are designed for a much stronger student body. Mr. John Rando, Outstanding Young Texas Ex and a Tony Award-winning theater director from New York, will give the convocation address.

V. Adjournment
The meeting adjourned at 4:00 pm.

Jacqueline L. Angel, chair