Convocation Speakers at The University of Texas at Austin Include Philanthropists, Public Officials, Educators, Journalists

May 8, 2008

AUSTIN, Texas — A prominent civil rights advocate, a Texas newspaper publisher, a federal appeals court judge and the chairman of the Board of Regents for the University of Texas System are among the speakers scheduled for convocation ceremonies at The University of Texas at Austin, May 16 and 17.

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.

Graduating students will join together on the South Mall of the Main Building for the 125th Spring Commencement ceremony on May 17, which begins with a carillon prelude at 7 p.m. and ends with a fireworks display and the traditional singing of "The Eyes of Texas." Jody Conradt, a legend in women's basketball and intercollegiate athletics administration at The University of Texas at Austin, will be the speaker.

Convocation speakers for individual ceremonies hosted by the various colleges, schools and departments will include: Vernon Jordan, senior counsel at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer Feld and one of the major civil rights figures in American history; H. Scott Caven Jr., chairman of the Board of Regents, the University of Texas System; Dr. Ernest C. Butler and Mrs. Sarah Butler, philanthropists after whom the university's Butler School of Music is named; Jack Sweeney, publisher and president of the Houston Chronicle; John Schwartz, science reporter for The New York Times; the Honorable Diane P. Wood, judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit; Texas State Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin; Dr. Larry R. Faulkner, president of Houston Endowment, Inc. and president emeritus of The University of Texas at Austin; and William Powers Jr., president of The University of Texas at Austin.

Listed below are the convocation locations for the colleges, schools and departments and names of the keynote speakers. Also listed are special spring ceremonies by other groups. More convocation information is available online.

Friday, May 16, 2008

  • 9 a.m. - McCombs School of Business (Undergraduate Ceremony), Frank Erwin Center. Speaker: H. Scott Caven Jr., chairman of the Board of Regents, the University of Texas System, and managing director and regional manager for Texas of Atlantic Trust Company, NA, a private wealth management firm.
  • 9 a.m. - Department of Government, College of Liberal Arts (ceremony includes graduate and undergraduate students), Gregory Gymnasium. Speaker: Dr. Alan Sager, lecturer in the university's Department of Government.
  • 9 a.m. - College of Pharmacy, Recreational Sports Center. Speaker: Hazel Pipkin, former College of Pharmacy clinical professor, the first woman president of the Texas Pharmacy Association and recipient of the National Community Pharmacists Association Lifetime Academic Achievement Award.
  • Noon - College of Education, Gregory Gymnasium. Speaker: Dr. Lawrence Abraham, professor and chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education, The University of Texas at Austin.
  • Noon - College of Liberal Arts (all degree programs except English, government, history, Plan II and psychology), Frank Erwin Center. Speaker: Bill Watkins, chief executive officer, Seagate Technology.
  • Noon - School of Nursing (ceremony includes graduate and undergraduate students), Recreational Sports Center: Speaker: Texas State Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin.
  • 3 p.m. - Joint ROTC Commissioning Ceremony, Bates Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center. Speaker: Major General Jose Mayorga, commander, 36th Infantry Division, Camp Mabry, Texas.
  • 3 p.m. - College of Communication, Frank Erwin Center, Speaker: Jack Sweeney, publisher and president of the Houston Chronicle.
  • 3 p.m. - Master of Business Administration (MBA) Recognition Ceremony, Gregory Gymnasium. Speaker: Lynn Utter, president and CEO, Knoll North America.
  • 3 p.m. - College of Fine Arts, Recreational Sports Center. Speaker: Dr. Ernest C. Butler and Mrs. Sarah Butler, philanthropists after whom the university's Butler School of Music is named.
  • 6 p.m. - Department of History, College of Liberal Arts (ceremony includes graduate and undergraduate students), Recreational Sports Center. Speaker: John Schwartz, science reporter for The New York Times.
  • 6 p.m. - Master in Professional Accounting (MPA) Recognition Ceremony, Gregory Gymnasium: Speaker: Everett Gibbs, managing director, Protiviti, Inc. and former senior partner and the global leader for Arthur Andersen's natural gas industry program.
  • 7 p.m. - Cockrell School of Engineering (ceremony includes graduate and undergraduate students), Frank Erwin Center. Speaker: Ben G. Streetman, dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

  • 8 a.m. - College of Natural Sciences, (all majors except the School of Biological Sciences and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry), Frank Erwin Center. Speaker: Dr. Austin Gleeson, professor of physics at The University of Texas at Austin.
  • 8:30 a.m. - Plan II Honors Program, College of Liberal Arts, Hogg Auditorium. Note: Tickets are required. Special speaker: H. Scott Caven Jr., chairman of the Board of Regents, the University of Texas System, and managing director and regional manager for Texas of Atlantic Trust Company, NA, a private wealth management firm. Convocation Speaker: Richard J. Reddick, assistant professor in the College of Education's Department of Educational Administration at The University of Texas at Austin, and coordinator of the Master of Education program in College and University Student Personnel Administration.
  • 9 a.m. - Department of Economics, College of Liberal Arts (ceremony includes graduate and undergraduate students), Gregory Gymnasium. Speaker: Richard B. Worley, managing partner of Permit Capital LLC.
  • 9 a.m. - Graduate Studies (Master's Degree Candidates), Recreational Sports Center. Speaker: Dr. Victoria Rodriguez, dean of the Graduate School.
  • 10 a.m. - Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, Bates Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center. Speaker: Vernon Jordan, senior counsel at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer Feld and one of the major civil rights figures in American history.
  • Noon - Texas Evening MBA, Texas Executive MBA, Texas Executive MBA at Mexico City, McCombs School of Business, ceremony at Hogg Auditorium. Speaker: Michael W. Brandl, senior lecturer at the McCombs School of Business, an affiliate faculty member of Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies at The University of Texas at Austin and a Next Generation Fellow with the American Assembly at Columbia University.
  • Noon - School of Biological Sciences and Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, College of Natural Sciences, ceremony at Frank Erwin Center. Speaker: Dr. William Guy, mathematics professor.
  • Noon - Graduate Studies (doctor's degree candidates), Recreational Sports Center. Speaker: Dr. Victoria Rodriguez, dean of the Graduate School.
  • 12:30 p.m. - Department of English, College of Liberal Arts (ceremony includes graduate and undergraduate students), at Gregory Gymnasium. Speaker: William Powers Jr., president of The University of Texas at Austin, University Distinguished Teaching Professor and the Hines H. Baker and Thelma Kelly Baker Chair in Law.
  • 2 p.m. - School of Information, Jessen Auditorium, Homer Rainey Hall. Speaker: Professor Francis Miksa, School of Information.
  • 3 p.m. - Center for Mexican American Studies, College of Liberal Arts (ceremony includes graduate and undergraduate students), University Teaching Center 2.112A. Speaker: Teresa Palomo Acosta, ethnic studies cum laude 1974 alumnus and noted poet.
  • 3 p.m. - Jackson School of Geosciences (ceremony includes graduate and undergraduate students), Bates Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center. Speaker: Dr. Larry R. Faulkner, president of Houston Endowment, Inc. and president emeritus of The University of Texas at Austin.
  • 3 p.m. - School of Social Work (ceremony includes graduate and undergraduate students), Recreational Sports Center. Speakers: Shirene Marisa Garcia, Bachelor of Social Work graduating student, and Leah Genevieve Davies, Master of Science in Social Work graduating student. The speakers were chosen by their peers.
  • 3:30 p.m. - School of Architecture (ceremony includes graduate and undergraduate students), Hogg Auditorium. Speaker: Henry Eric (Hank) Dittmar, chief executive of The Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment and a graduate of the School of Architecture's Master of Science in Community and Regional Planning Program.
  • 3:30 p.m. - School of Law, Frank Erwin Center. Speaker: The Honorable Diane P. Wood, judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and a senior lecturer in law at the University of Chicago Law School.
  • 3:30 p.m. - Department of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts (ceremony includes graduate and undergraduate students), Gregory Gymnasium. No speaker.
  • 4 p.m. - Master of Science in Science and Technology Commercialization IC² Institute, Thompson Conference Center 1.110. Speaker: Mark Ellison, executive director for the Texas Emerging Technology Fund.

For more information, contact: Robert D. Meckel, Office of the President, 512 475 7847.