Former President Bill Clinton, Pulitzer Prize winner among convocation speakers at The University of Texas at Austin

May 16, 2006

AUSTIN, Texas—Speakers for the various convocation ceremonies at The University of Texas at Austin May 19 and 20 will include a former president of the United States, a university professor who recently won the Pulitzer Prize in history, a state senator, the Texas Commissioner of Education, a NASA astronaut, and two university presidents and a regent from The University of Texas System.

Convocations hosted by the various colleges, schools and departments are the ceremonies in which undergraduates and graduate students are recognized individually. The convocations have unique honors and traditions and provide photo opportunities for families and friends to capture special moments, such as the hooding of doctor’s and master’s degree students or of deans shaking hands with graduates as they walk across the stage.

More than 7,900 students will be graduated this spring semester, including 958 Ph.D., 1,753 master’s degree and 5,223 undergraduate students.

All graduating students also are invited to join together on the South Mall of the Main Building for the 123rd Spring Commencement ceremony on May 20, which begins with a carillon prelude at 7 p.m. and ends with the traditional singing of “The Eyes of Texas.” Antonio O. Garza Jr., the United States ambassador to Mexico and former chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission, will be the commencement speaker.

Convocation speakers for individual ceremonies hosted by the various colleges, schools and departments during the 123rd Spring Commencement weekend will include: former President William Clinton Jr.; Pulitzer Prize winner David M. Oshinsky; Texas Senator Judith Zaffirini of Laredo; Texas Commissioner of Education Shirley Neeley; NASA astronaut James F. Reilly, Sr.; Dr. Ricardo Romo, president of The University of Texas at San Antonio; William Powers Jr., president of The University of Texas at Austin; and Robert A. Estrada, a member of the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System.

Listed below are the convocation locations for the colleges, schools and departments, names of people to contact for information and names of the keynote speakers. Also listed are special spring ceremonies by other groups.

Friday, May 19

  • 9 a.m. - McCombs School of Business (undergraduate ceremony) at Frank Erwin Center. Speaker: Gary Kusin, former president and chief executive officer, FedEx Kinko’s. Contact: Undergraduate Program Office, 512-471-0690.
  • 9 a.m. - Department of Government, College of Liberal Arts in Gregory Gymnasium. Ceremony includes graduate and undergraduate students. Speaker: Ted Cruz, solicitor general of Texas, Contact: Nancy Moses, 512-471-5121.
  • 9 a.m. - College of Pharmacy in Bass Concert Hall, Performing Arts Center. Speaker: Kim Caldwell, vice president of the Texas State Board of Pharmacy. Contact: Lisa Meyer, 512-475-9753.
  • 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. - The Great TEXAS EX-IT Open House in the Etter-Harbin Alumni Center, 2110 San Jacinto St.
  • Noon - College of Education undergraduate ceremony in Gregory Gymnasium. Speaker: Dr. Shirley Neeley, commissioner of education for the Texas Education Agency. Contact: Courtney Myers, 512-471-3486.
  • Noon - College of Liberal Arts in the Frank Erwin Center. Ceremony includes graduate and undergraduate students. It is a joint convocation for students graduating with the following majors: African American Studies, American Studies, Ancient History and Classical Civilization, Anthropology, Arabic, Archaeology, Asian American Studies, Asian Studies, Chinese, Classics, Czech, French, Geography, Germanic Studies, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Humanities, Islamic Studies, Italian, Japanese, Jewish Studies, Kinesiology and Health, Latin, Latin American Studies, Linguistics, Middle Eastern Cultures, Middle Eastern Studies, Persian, Philosophy, Portuguese, Religious Studies, Russian, Eastern European and Eurasian Studies, Russian and Slavic Studies, Sanskrit, Scandinavian, Sociology, Spanish, Turkish and Urban Studies. Speaker: David M. Oshinsky, the George W. Littlefield Professor in American History, Department of History, The University of Texas at Austin, and 2006 winner of the Pulitzer Prize in the history category. Contact: Tim Ashlock, 512-471-4271.
  • Noon - School of Nursing in Bass Concert Hall, Performing Arts Center. Speaker: Charles E. Felger, M.D., senior physician at Austin Diagnostic Clinic, Department of Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology. Contact: Sue Walker, 512-232-4799.
  • 3 p.m. - College of Communication in the Frank Erwin Center. Speaker: Robert A. Estrada of Estrada Hinojosa & Company Inc., and a member of the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System. Contact: Cindy Patiño, 512-475-9166.
  • 3 p.m. - Master of Business Administration recognition ceremony in Gregory Gymnasium. Speaker: Gary Kusin, former president and chief executive officer, FedEx Kinko’s. Contact: Taylor Overstreet, 512-471-7603.
  • 3 p.m. - College of Fine Arts in Bass Concert Hall, Performing Arts Center. Speaker: Raymond Nasher, founder of the Nasher Sculpture Center. Contact: Student Affairs Office, 512-471-5011.
  • 4 p.m. - A Celebration of Excellence: Honoring African American, Asian American, Mexican American/Hispanic and Native American graduates in Connally Banquet Hall, Etter-Harbin Alumni Center. Speaker: William Powers Jr., president of The University of Texas at Austin. Contact: Stella Escalante, 512-232-2923.
  • 6 p.m. - Department of History, College of Liberal Arts in Bass Concert Hall, Performing Arts Center. Speaker: Dr. Ricardo Romo, president of The University of Texas at San Antonio. Contact: Department Office, 512-471-3261. Tickets required.
  • 6 p.m. - McCombs School of Business (PPA/MPA Ceremony) at Gregory Gymnasium. Speaker: Bill Archer, senior policy adviser, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, LLC., and former member of U.S. House of Representatives, 1970-2001. Contact: Madeline Chauvin, 512-471-6559.
  • 7 p.m. - College of Engineering in Frank Erwin Center. Ceremony includes graduate and undergraduate students. Speaker: Michael Webber, associate engineer at the RAND Corporation. Contact: Ann Bedinger, 512-471-1166.

Saturday, May 20

  • 8 a.m. - College of Natural Sciences (All majors except the School of Biological Sciences and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry) in the Frank Erwin Center. Speaker: Sandy Kress, partner with the Austin law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP, and a former senior adviser on education to President George W. Bush. Contact: Mari Gonzalez, 512-232-1067.
  • 9 a.m. - Department of Economics, College of Liberal Arts in Gregory Gymnasium. Ceremony includes graduate and undergraduate students. Speaker: Richard W. Fisher president and chief executive officer of Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Contact: Prudence Ching, 512-475-8507.
  • 9 a.m. - Graduate Studies (master’s degree candidates) in Bass Concert Hall, Performing Arts Center. Speaker: William Powers Jr., president of The University of Texas at Austin. Contact: Andrea St. Lawrence, 512-232-3618.
  • 9 a.m. - Plan II Honors Program, College of Liberal Arts in Hogg Auditorium. Speaker: Bjorn Billhardt, CEO of Enspire Learning. Contact: Jennifer Scalora, 512-471-1442. Tickets required.
  • 9:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. - The Great TEXAS EX-IT Open House in the Etter-Harbin Alumni Center, 2110 San Jacinto St.
  • 11 a.m. - Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, in the Lyndon B. Johnson Auditorium. Speaker: Former President Bill Clinton. Contact: Jeffrey Patterson, 512-471-3200.
  • Noon - School of Biological Sciences and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the Frank Erwin Center. Speaker: James A. Prentice, M.D., a past president of the Travis County Medical Society. Contact: Marisela Gonzalez, 512-232-1067.
  • Noon - Graduate Studies (doctor’s degree candidates) in Bass Concert Hall, Performing Arts Center. Speaker: William Powers Jr., president of The University of Texas at Austin. Contact: Lucia Zonn, 512-232-3618.
  • 12:30 p.m. - Department of English, College of Liberal Arts in Gregory Gymnasium. Speaker: Dr. James Garrison, chair of the Department of English. Contact: Zachary Bastian, 512-232-2343.
  • 1:30 p.m. - Dallas/Mexico City Master of Business Administration (MBA), in the Bates Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center. Two speakers: William H. Cunningham, the James L. Bayless Chair For Free Enterprise, Department of Marketing Administration in the McCombs School of Business, The University of Texas at Austin, and former chancellor of The University of Texas System; and Dr. Lorenzo Meyer, professor of political history, Center for International Studies at El Colegio de Mexico in Mexico City. Contact: Kristi Delaney, 512-232-4623.
  • 2 p.m. - School of Information in Jessen Auditorium, Homer Rainey Hall. Speaker: Gary Hoover, entrepreneur and author, founder of Bookstop, The Reference Book Press and Hoover’s Handbook series. Contact: Melba Claymon, 512-471-2185.
  • 3 p.m. - Center for Mexican American Studies, College of Liberal Arts in the University Teaching Center 2.112A. Ceremony includes graduate and undergraduate students. Speaker: Marta P. Cotera, professional librarian at UT Libraries and Austin community activist. Contact: Elvira Prieto, 512-471-2134.
  • 3 p.m. - School of Social Work in Bass Concert Hall, Performing Arts Center. Ceremony includes graduate and undergraduate students. Speakers: undergraduate student Ann Marie Miles and graduate student Julia N. Cuba, 2005. Contact: Julie Cunniff, 512-471-0562.
  • 3:30 p.m. - Jackson School of Geosciences in the Don R. Boyd Auditorium, Jackson Geological Sciences Building (GEO 2.324). Ceremony includes graduate and undergraduate students. Speaker: Dr. James F. Reilly Sr., NASA astronaut. Contact: Glynis Morse, 512-471-0270.
  • 3:30 p.m. - School of Architecture in the Texas Union Ballroom 3.202. Ceremony includes graduate and undergraduate students. Speaker: Leilah H. Powell, government relations manager of Bexar County. Contact: Jeanne Crawford, 512-471-0109.
  • 3:30 p.m. - School of Law in the Frank Erwin Center. Speaker: Texas Senator Judith Zaffirini of Laredo. Contact: Ray Ramos, 512-232-1313.
  • 3:30 p.m. - Department of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts in Gregory Gymnasium. Ceremony includes graduate and undergraduate students. No speaker. Contact: Alice Andrews, 512-471-4410.

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