Dell Computer CEO Michael S. Dell to deliver keynote address at The University of Texas at Austin commencement, May 17

May 12, 2003

AUSTIN, Texas—Michael S. Dell, chairman and chief executive officer of Dell, will deliver the keynote address at The University of Texas at Austin’s 120th spring commencement on May 17 on the university’s South Mall.

The university-wide commencement ceremony at 8 p.m. will be preceded by a 7 p.m. carillon prelude and a commencement concert by members of the university’s Chamber Singer, Concert Chorale and Wind Ensemble.

There are 7,076 students eligible to receive their degrees this spring, including 4,244 undergraduates and 2,832 graduate students.

Dr. Larry R. Faulkner, president of the university, will preside over the commencement ceremony. The theme of this year’s program is “Texas at Large.” In a message to degree candidates and their families, Dr. Faulkner said, “Through the thousands of graduates around the world who serve as its ambassadors, The University of Texas at Austin represents Texas at large in the global community.”

Dell, who attended The University of Texas at Austin during the 1980s and who is a 1991 recipient of the Texas Exes Outstanding Young Texas Ex Award, founded the company in 1984 with $1,000 and the idea of selling computer systems directly to customers. In 18 years, the company’s sales have grown to $35.4 billion. Dell is the youngest chief executive officer ever to earn a ranking on the Fortune 500, and he is the longest tenured chief executive officer in the computer systems industry.

Banners, maces, theatrical lighting and the grand procession of degree candidates will be among the special features of the celebration. The traditional singing of “The Eyes of Texas” and a fireworks display from the Tower will be a part of the grand finale.

Public seating for the ceremony will be available on a first come, first served basis. Standing will not be allowed in outdoor areas configured for seating. Guest seating will be provided in adjacent indoor locations beginning at 6 p.m. These sites will feature a live video telecast in an air-conditioned setting. Commencement officials will be available to direct guests to indoor viewing areas, including Hogg Auditorium; Flawn Academic Center, Room 21; Batts Hall Auditorium, Jessen Auditorium (Rainey Hall 2.104), University Teaching Center, Room 2.112A; W. C. Hogg Building, Room 329 and other locations to be designated.

Services for people with disabilities will be provided, including listening assistance devices.

Parking for commencement activities is free in designated areas on a first-come, first-served basis, with the exception of spaces marked “At All Times.” University parking garages and most surface lots are available.

Degree candidates participating in the evening ceremony are required to present a ticket when lining up for the grand procession. Free procession tickets are available at the Frank Erwin Center and the Performing Arts Center box offices. They must be picked up in person by presenting a UT photo ID. Both box offices will be open on May 17, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In case of rain, the Saturday evening ceremony will be moved to the Frank C. Erwin Center at 15th and Red River streets.

The Office of Public Affairs has set up a phone number, 512-232-9999, to provide general information about the main graduation ceremony, college and school convocations and updated weather reports. The number will be available beginning May 16. Additional information is available on the Commencement Web site.

For more information contact: Robert D. Meckel, Office of Public Affairs, 512-475-7847.