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May 3, 2006

Press Contact: Kirston Fortune, Assistant Dean for Communications, 512-471-7330.
Event Contact: Rey Ramos, Asst. Dean for Student Affairs, UT Law, (512) 232-1313.

Texas Sen. Judith Zaffirini to Speak at Sunflower Ceremony, May 20

AUSTIN, Texas—Texas Sen. Judith Zaffirini will give the commencement address at The University of Texas at Austin School of Law’s Spring Sunflower Ceremony on Sat., May 20, at 3:30 p.m. at the Frank C. Erwin, Jr. Special Events Center.

Elected to the Texas Senate in 1986, Sen. Zaffirini (D-Laredo) represents the 21st Senatorial District in Texas and is the fourth-highest ranking senator and the highest-ranking senator for Bexar County and the border region. She was the first Hispanic woman to be elected to the Texas Senate. A former teacher, she is also the owner of Zaffirini Communications, a professional communication services business.

In February, Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst appointed Sen. Zaffirini to serve as chair of the new Senate Subcommittee on Capital Funding for Higher Education, which is charged with reviewing the process for funding construction, renovation and technology infrastructure on higher education campuses throughout the state. She was also re-appointed as vice chair of the Senate Finance Committee and as a member of the Senate's Education, Health and Human Services and International Relations and Trade committees, as well as to the Subcommittee on Higher Education.

Sen. Zaffirini is an alumna of The University of Texas (BS 1967, BA 1970, PhD Communications, 1978) and in 2003 was one of six UT-Austin alumni to receive the Distinguished Alumus Award from the Texas-Exes.

After the Sunflower Ceremony, there will be a reception for UT Law graduates and their guests in the Law School’s Susman Godfrey Atrium (map: http://www.utexas.edu/law/about/maps/). For more information about the Sunflower Ceremony and graduation activities including library tours at the Law School go to: http://www.utexas.edu/law/depts/sao/graduation/.

Also on May 20, UT Law graduates are invited to participate in the 123rd Spring Commencement Ceremony at 8 p.m. for all graduates of UT at the Main Mall beneath the Tower (rain location is the Erwin Center). The Commencement Address will be given by Antonio O. Garza Jr., the U.S. ambassador to Mexico and former chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission who is also a UT-Austin alumnus.

Related Links:
Sen. Judith Zaffirini, Texas Senate Bio: http://www.zaffirini.senate.state.tx.us/
Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Jefferson, '88, to Speak at Sunflower Ceremony (2005): http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2005/042805_sunflower.html
Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson's Commencement Address from the 2005 Sunflower Ceremony: http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2005/052405_jefferson.html
The Sunflower Ceremony: http://www.utexas.edu/law/depts/sao/graduation/
U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Antonio Garza to be 2006 spring commencement speaker at The University of Texas at Austin: http://www.utexas.edu/opa/news/2006/04/commencement06.html
123rd Spring Commencement Schedule, May 19-20, 2006: http://www.utexas.edu/commencement/2006/springschedule.html