Prominent Figures in Business, Government, Education and the Arts Are Among Convocation Speakers at The University of Texas at Austin

May 13, 2009

AUSTIN, Texas — A Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, a Peabody Award-winning broadcaster and producer, a former U.S. senator and member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, the president of a major oil company, a former lieutenant governor, and several local and state government officials are among the speakers scheduled for convocation ceremonies at The University of Texas at Austin May 22 and 23.

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 greeting graduates as they walk across the stage.

Graduating students will join together on the South Mall of the Main Building for the 126th Spring Commencement ceremony on May 23, 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." Internationally acclaimed filmmaker Robert Rodriguez will be the speaker.

Convocation speakers for individual ceremonies hosted by the various colleges, schools and departments include: Berkeley Breathed, Pulitzer Prize winner and syndicated cartoonist; Kenneth M. Jastrow II, former chief executive officer of Temple-Inland Inc. and chairman of The University of Texas at Austin's $3 billion capital campaign; Elliott Forrest, a Peabody Award-winning broadcaster and producer; Marvin E. Odum, president of Shell Oil Company and executive vice president for the Americas, E&P; former U.S. Senator Bill Bradley, a Rhodes Scholar and member of the Basketball Hall of Fame; Ben Barnes, former lieutenant governor of Texas, president and CEO of the Ben Barnes Group; Austin Mayor Will Wynn; Texas Railroad Commissioner Victor Carrillo; and The Honorable Edward C. Prado of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

The convocation speakers for ceremonies hosted by the various colleges, schools, departments and other groups are listed below. More convocation information is available online.

Friday, May 22

  • 8:30 a.m. - College of Pharmacy, Bass Concert Hall, Performing Arts Center. Speaker: Dr. Victor A. Yanchick, dean of the College of Pharmacy at Virginia Commonwealth University and president of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.
  • 9 a.m. - Department of Military Science, Army ROTC Commissioning Ceremony (by invitation), AT&T Executive Education Conference Center, Salon C. Speaker: Dr. Thomas M. Kiehne, research engineer and program manager at the Applied Research Laboratories as well as a senior lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin.
  • 9 a.m. - McCombs School of Business (undergraduate ceremony), Frank Erwin Center. Speaker: John McStay, managing partner of John McStay and Associates, Dallas.
  • 9 a.m. - Department of Government (ceremony includes graduate and undergraduate students), College of Liberal Arts, Gregory Gymnasium. Speaker: Ben Barnes, former lieutenant governor of Texas, president and CEO of the Ben Barnes Group.
  • Noon - College of Education ceremony for undergraduates, Gregory Gymnasium. Speaker: Elizabeth Shatto Massey, former chair of the College of Education Advisory Council, chair-elect of The University of Texas at Austin Development Board, member of the Executive Committee of the Chancellor's Council for The University of Texas System and an at-large member of the board of directors of the Texas Exes.
  • Noon - College of Liberal Arts joint convocation, Frank Erwin Center (Note: Departments of Economics, Center for Mexican American Studies, English, Government, History, Plan II and Psychology hold separate ceremonies at other times and locations on campus as noted in this listing). Speaker Gary Hoover, founder of Hoovers.com and Book Stop.
  • Noon - School of Nursing, Bass Concert Hall, Performing Arts Center. Speaker: Milton Packer, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Clinical Sciences, The Gayle and the Paul Stoffel Distinguished Chair in Cardiology, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.
  • 2 p.m. - Joint ROTC Commissioning Ceremony, Bates Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center. Speaker: Maj. Gen. K.C. McClain, commander, Air Force Personnel Center, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.
  • • 3 p.m. - College of Communication, Frank Erwin Center. Speaker: Berkeley Breathed, Pulitzer Prize winner and syndicated cartoonist.
  • 3 p.m. - Master of Business Administration Recognition Ceremony, Gregory Gymnasium. Speaker: Kenneth M. Jastrow II, former chief executive officer of Temple-Inland Inc. and chairman of The University of Texas at Austin's $3 billion capital campaign (tickets required).
  • 3 p.m. - College of Fine Arts, Bass Concert Hall, Performing Arts Center. Speaker: Elliott Forrest, a Peabody Award-winning broadcaster and producer who is interim executive director of Excentris, a new arts center in Montreal and artistic director of Riverspace in Nyack, N.Y.
  • 6 p.m. - Department of History, College of Liberal Arts, in Bass Concert Hall, Performing Arts Center. Speaker: Paul Bartholomew, actor and an alumnus of the university Department of History Class of 1994.
  • 7 p.m. - Master in Professional Accounting, McCombs School of Business, Gregory Gym. Speaker: Will O'Hara, former University of Texas at Austin accounting lecturer, member of the Chancellor's Council of The University of Texas System as well as the President's Associates and Littlefield Society at The University of Texas at Austin.
  • 7 p.m. - Cockrell School of Engineering (ceremony includes graduate and undergraduate students), in Frank Erwin Center. Speaker: Marvin E. Odum, president of Shell Oil Company and executive vice president for the Americas, E&P.

Saturday, May 23

  • 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. William Press, professor of computer sciences and integrative biology and the Warren J. and Viola M. Raymer Chair in the Department of Computer Science, College of Natural Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin.
  • 9 a.m. - Department of Economics, College of Liberal Arts (ceremony includes graduate and undergraduate students), Gregory Gymnasium. Speaker: Robert W. (Bill) Gilmer, senior economist and vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  • 9 a.m. - Graduate School (master's degree candidates), in Bass Concert Hall, Performing Arts Center. Speaker: Dr. Victoria Rodriguez, vice provost and dean of Graduate Studies.
  • 9 a.m. - Plan II Honors Program, College of Liberal Arts, Hogg Auditorium (tickets required). Speaker: Betty Sue Flowers, director of the Lyndon B. Johnson Library and Museum.
  • 10 a.m. - Center for Mexican American Studies (ceremony includes graduate and undergraduate students), College of Liberal Arts, Amphitheatre of AT&T Executive Education Conference Center. Speaker: Dr. Margarita Arellano, associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students at Texas State University at San Marcos.
  • 11 a.m. - Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, Bates Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center. Speaker: Former U.S. Senator Bill Bradley, a Rhodes Scholar, best-selling author and member of the Basketball Hall of Fame. Bradley is a managing director at Allen & Company LLC.
  • Noon - School of Biological Sciences and Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, College of Natural Sciences, Frank Erwin Center. Speaker: Dr. William Press, professor of computer sciences and integrative biology and the Warren J. and Viola M. Raymer Chair in the Department of Computer Sciences, College of Natural Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin.
  • Noon - Master of Science in Technology Commercialization, IC² Institute, Amphitheatre of AT&T Executive Education Conference Center. Speaker: David G. Nance, executive director of Innovate Texas.
  • Noon - Graduate School (doctor's degree candidates), Bass Concert Hall, Performing Arts Center. Speaker: William Powers Jr., president of The University of Texas at Austin, and Dr. Victoria Rodriguez, vice provost and dean of Graduate Studies.
  • 12:30 p.m. - Department of English, Gregory Gymnasium. Speakers: Dean Young, the William Livingston Chair of Poetry, Department of English, and Don B. Graham, J. Frank Dobie Regents Professor of American and English Literature, Department of English.
  • 1 p.m. - School of Architecture (ceremony includes graduate and undergraduate students), Hogg Auditorium. Speaker: Austin Mayor Will Wynn.
  • 3 p.m. - School of Information, Amphitheatre of AT&T Executive Education Conference Center. Speaker: Professor M. Jennifer Parrish, director of the University of California Hastings College of the Law Library, San Francisco.
  • 3 p.m. - Jackson School of Geosciences (ceremony includes graduate and undergraduate students), Bates Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center. Speaker: Victor Carrillo, Texas Railroad commissioner.
  • 3 p.m. - School of Social Work, (ceremony includes graduate and undergraduate students), Bass Concert Hall, Performing Arts Center. Speakers: Graduating students Robert Anthony Valdez and Lydia Olivia Ramos were chosen by peers from their respective graduating classes.
  • 3:30 p.m. - School of Law, Frank Erwin Center. Speaker: The Honorable Edward C. Prado, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
  • 3:30 p.m. - Department of Psychology, (ceremony includes graduate and undergraduate students), College of Liberal Arts, Gregory Gymnasium. There will be no speaker.

For more information on Commencement, including the university-wide ceremony, visit the Commencement Web site.

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