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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.

The Commencement and Academic Ceremonies Committee met twice in the fall and elected Tola Mosadomi as the vice chair. The committee also conducted business via email during the academic year to discuss the organization and planning of formal academic ceremonies.

In the fall semester, the committee focused mainly on one piece of business: the disbanding of the committee. The resolution to disband the committee (D 7436-7437) was approved by Faculty Council its November 16, 2009, meeting. The president gave final approval of disbandment on January 11, 2010.

In addition, the committee forwarded suggestions of commencement speakers to the president’s office, which were added to the existing list maintained by the Office of Relationship Management and University Events.

Committee business in the spring semester was conducted via email communication. The following issues were addressed:

  • Commencement Theme. The theme for the May 2010 commencement was “An Exalted Trust.”
  • University-wide Speaker. Marcia Gay Harden, Outstanding Young Texas Ex Award (1996) and Distinguished Alumnus Award (2008) winner and award winning actress, was the commencement speaker.
Honors Day. The 61st annual Honors Day celebration recognizing College Scholars and Distinguished College Scholars was held on April 10, 2010, at the Bass Concert Hall. This year, more than 5,387 students were given the honorary title of College Scholar and 947 were recognized as Distinguished College Scholars. Two University-wide ceremonies were held to accommodate the large number of student honorees and their guests who attend annually. Colleges and schools also host complementary activities to recognize their scholars individually.

Michael Adams (Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor, Department of English, College of Liberal Arts) delivered the convocation address.

Cinthia S. Salinas, chair