Speakers Scheduled for Convocation Ceremonies at The University of Texas at Austin, May 20, 21

May 12, 2011

AUSTIN, Texas — A renowned attorney/philanthropist, a member of the United States House of Representatives, a circuit judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals, the prime minister of the Palestinian National Authority, the Texas commissioner of education, the university's head football coach and several corporate executives and outstanding academic leaders will be among the speakers for convocation ceremonies May 20 and 21 at The University of Texas at Austin.

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 Main Mall of the Main Building for the 128th Spring Commencement ceremony on May 21, 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." U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, will be the speaker. The event celebrates the graduation of about 7,500 students this spring.

Convocation speakers for individual ceremonies May 20 and May 21 hosted by the various colleges, schools and departments include attorney/philanthropist Joseph D. Jamail; U.S. Rep. Charles Gonzalez, 20th Congressional District of Texas; Diane P. Wood, circuit judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit; Salam K. Fayyad, prime minister of the Palestinian National Authority; Robert Scott, commissioner of education, Texas Education Agency; Dr. Steven W. Leslie, the university's executive vice-president and provost; and Mack Brown, head football coach.

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

Friday, May 20, 2011

  • 8:30 a.m. - College of Pharmacy, Bass Concert Hall, Performing Arts Center. Speaker: William M. Sage, vice provost for health affairs and holder of the James R. Dougherty Chair for Faculty Excellence, The University of Texas at Austin.
  • 9 a.m. - McCombs School of Business (undergraduate ceremony), Frank Erwin Center. Speaker: George E. Seay III, chief executive officer and founder of Annandale Capital, LLC, of Dallas.
  • 9 a.m. - Department of Government (ceremony includes graduate and undergraduate students), College of Liberal Arts, Gregory Gymnasium. Speaker: U.S. Rep. Charles Gonzalez, 20th Congressional District of Texas.
  • Noon - College of Education, Gregory Gymnasium. Speaker: Mack Brown, head football coach, Intercollegiate Athletics, The University of Texas at Austin.
  • Noon - College of Liberal Arts joint convocation, Frank Erwin Center. (Note: The 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 list.) Speaker: William R. Thomas, chairman and chief executive officer of Texas Oceanic Petroleum Co., London
  • Noon - School of Nursing (ceremony includes graduate and undergraduate students), Bass Concert Hall, Performing Arts Center. Speaker: Barbara W. White, dean and professor at the School of Social Work and the Centennial Professor in Leadership for Community, Professional and Corporate Excellence.
  • 3 p.m. - Joint Commissioning Ceremony, Bates Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center. Speaker: Lt. Gen. Richard T. Tryon, deputy commandant for plans, policies and operations, Headquarters Marine Corps.
  • 3 p.m. - College of Communication, Frank Erwin Center. Speaker: Craig A. Dubow, chairman and chief executive officer of Gannett Co., Inc.
  • 3 p.m. - Master in Professional Accounting Recognition Ceremony, Gregory Gymnasium. Speaker: Gary C. Kelly, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer of Southwest Airlines.
  • 3 p.m. - College of Fine Arts, Bass Concert Hall, Performing Arts Center. Speaker: Robert Scott, commissioner of education, Texas Education Agency.
  • 6 p.m. - Department of History, College of Liberal Arts (ceremony includes graduate and undergraduate students), Bass Concert Hall, Performing Arts Center. Speaker: Joseph D. Jamail, University of Texas School of Law, 1953; bachelor's  degree in history, 1950.
  • 6 p.m. - Master of Business Administration Recognition Ceremony, Gregory Gymnasium. Speaker: Erik W. Qualman, Global Vice President of Online Marketing, EF Education.
  • 7 p.m. - Cockrell School of Engineering (ceremony includes graduate and undergraduate students), Frank Erwin Center. Speaker: Steve Poizner, businessman/entrepreneur and former insurance commissioner of California.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

  • 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: John D. Butler, rear admiral, U. S. Navy (retired); vice-president of Fleet Ballistic Missile, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company.
  • 9 a.m. - Department of Economics, College of Liberal Arts (ceremony includes graduate and undergraduate students), Gregory Gymnasium. Speaker: Salam K. Fayyad, prime minister of the Palestinian National Authority, a graduate of the class of 1986, doctor of philosophy, economics and recipient of the Texas Exes Distinguished Alumnus Award.
  • 9 a.m. - Graduate School (master's degree candidates), 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. Note: Tickets are required. Speaker: Diane P. Wood, circuit judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit and recipient of the Texas Exes Distinguished Alumnus Award.
  • 10 a.m. - Center for Mexican American Studies (ceremony includes graduate and undergraduate students), College of Liberal Arts, Student Activities Center Auditorium. Speaker: Rolando Hinojosa-Smith, the Ellen Clayton Garwood Professor in the Department of English, College of Liberal Arts, The University of Texas at Austin.
  • 11 a.m. - Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, LBJ Auditorium. Speaker: Kathleen Merrigan, deputy secretary for the United States Department of Agriculture and LBJ School of Public Affairs alumnus.
  • Noon - School of Biological Sciences and Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, College of Natural Sciences, Frank Erwin Center. Speaker: Spencer Wells, a 2010 Outstanding Young Texas Ex who is explorer-in-residence with National Geographic.
  • Noon - Master of Science in Technology Commercialization, McCombs School of Business, Amphitheatre of AT&T Executive Education Conference Center. Speaker: Thomas J. Meredith, chief executive officer at MFI Capital, LLC.
  • Noon - Graduate School (doctor's degree candidates), Bass Concert Hall, Performing Arts Center. Speakers: Provost Steven W. Leslie and Dean of Graduate School Victoria Rodriguez, The University of Texas at Austin.
  • 12:30 p.m. - Department of English, College of Liberal Arts (ceremony includes graduate and undergraduate students), Gregory Gymnasium. Speaker: Elizabeth McCracken, a professor in the Department of English who holds the James A. Michener Chair in Creative Writing.
  • 3 p.m. - School of Architecture (ceremony includes graduate and undergraduate students), Hogg Auditorium. Speaker: Architect Emily Little of Clayton & Little, Austin.
  • 3 p.m. - School of Information, amphitheatre of AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center. Speaker: Mary Lynn Rice-Lively, former associate dean of the School of Information, The University of Texas at Austin.
  • 3 p.m. - Jackson School of Geosciences (ceremony includes graduate and undergraduate students), Bates Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center. Speaker: Kim Bates, vice president of geosciences, ExxonMobil Development Company.
  • 3 p.m. School of Social Work, Bass Concert Hall, Performing Arts Center. Speakers: Graduate student David Jose Kalloor and undergraduate student Suellen Ann Brown, both graduating from the School of Social Work.
  • 3:30 p.m. - School of Law, Frank Erwin Center. Speaker: Jack Balagia, vice-president and general counsel of Exxon Mobil Corporation.
  • 3:30 p.m. - Department of Psychology, (ceremony includes graduate and undergraduate students), College of Liberal Arts, Gregory Gymnasium. Speaker: Theresa A. Jones, professor of psychology at The University of Texas at Austin.

For more information on 2011 Spring Commencement, including the university-wide ceremony, visit the commencement Web site.

Commencement Travel Advisory: Interstate 35 to Shut Down This Weekend

Visitors traveling on Interstate 35 to participate in spring commencement activities at The University of Texas at Austin this weekend may wish to allow additional time in their driving schedules due to highway construction south of the university.

The Texas Department of Transportation said construction on new direct connection ramps at Interstate 35 and State Highway 71 (Ben White Freeway) will necessitate the closure of northbound and southbound I-35 this weekend. The northbound main lanes will be closed at 10 p.m. Friday, May 20, while the southbound main lanes will not be shut down until 10 p.m. Saturday, May 21. All lanes are scheduled to be open by 10 p.m. Sunday, May 22.

Texas Department of Transportation details of the closure plans are available online.

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

1 Comment to "Speakers Scheduled for Convocation Ceremonies at The University of Texas at Austin, May 20, 21"

1.  orion21tv said on May 31, 2011

Awesome! I’m definitely enjoying the information.