Giuliani, Dewhurst top lineup of commencement speakers
While some students are looking forward to their summer break once finals are over, many others are counting down the days to what could possibly be one of the most important events of their lives: graduation.
The spring 2010 general commencement ceremony will be held May 14-16 on the UH campus and will be presided over by President Renu Khator.
Some individual colleges will be hosting ceremonies for their graduating class after the general commencement.
The Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture will host an awards and recognition ceremony for its graduating class after the general ceremony. Billie Tsien was invited by Dean Patricia Oliver to address the graduating class as keynote speaker. Tsien is a noted architect from New York-based firm Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects. She received her undergraduate degree in fine arts from Yale in 1971 and her master’s in Architecture from UCLA in 1977. She has taught at several institutions including Parsons, Yale and the University of Texas at Austin.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani will be the keynote speaker for the Law Center’s graduate ceremony. Giuliani majored in political science at Mahanttan College and later attended the New York University School of Law. He was also named Time Magazine’s Man of the Year in 2001.
The Optometry College’s commencement ceremony will be awarding 99 students their doctoral degrees. Their student commencement committee requested that Irvin Borish be invited as keynote speaker. Borish is known internationally as the father of the modern optometry profession. He majored in English at Temple University before enrolling into the Northern Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago, where he achieved the best academic record in the institution’s history.
College of Pharmacy Dean Lamar Pritchard said Lt. Governor David Dewhurst was chosen as this year’s commencement speaker because of his laudable record with healthcare and his aspirations to improve the health status of all citizens in the state of Texas. Dewhurst earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Arizona.
While some colleges sought to have distinguished guests, others such as the Graduate College of Social Work looked inwards to find inspirational speakers for their graduating class. Students voted the college’s clinical associate professor Sandra Lopez to be their keynote speaker.
A UH alumna, Lopez completed her bachelor’s in business before pursuing a master’s in social work at the Graduate College of Social Work. She has been teaching at the college for over a decade.
Prior to the general commencement, the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and the College of Technology will host a breakfast reception and a graduation brunch.
For several years each college had a separate commencement ceremony, but this year marked the reinstatement of UH’s oldest tradition — the general commencement ceremony. In a statement made earlier this year, Provost John Antel said that the decision to reinstate the general commencement was made after a review of UH commencement history and a survey of best practices in institutions across the nation.
The spring 2010 general commencement schedule can be found on the UH website.