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December 12, 2007

Media Contact: Hannah Buchanan
Public Affairs Specialist
News and Information
The University of Texas at Tyler

Former Secretary of State to Speak at UT Tyler Commencement

Former Texas Secretary of State Roger Williams will deliver the commencement address for the College of Business and Technology at The University of Texas at Tyler, President Rodney H. Mabry announced.

Six hundred fifty-one degree candidates will be recognized in the UT Tyler R. Don Cowan Fine and Performing Arts Center during ceremonies scheduled Dec. 14 and 15.

Williams will speak at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 15.

Williams served as the secretary of state for approximately three years. In that capacity, Williams worked to promote economic development, investment and job creation in the state. He also oversaw Texas’ effort to comply with the federal Help America Vote Act.

Other commencement speakers and the ceremonies during which they will speak include:

  • Cynthia Stevens Kent, judge of the 114th District Court in Smith County – College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

Kent has served as a judge in East Texas since 1984. She also has been an invited faculty member at various judicial conferences across the United States and the recipient of several community and professional honors and awards.

  • Dr. Teresa Kennedy, deputy director of NASA’s GLOBE program – Colleges of Education and Psychology and Engineering and Computer Science.

Kennedy is an affiliate assistant professor of foreign language/bilingual education at the University of Idaho. Her research interests include online teaching and learning and content-based second language teaching and learning focusing on science and social studies. Among her current appointments are the National Science Teachers Association International Advisory Board and the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Language.

  • James Pace, UT Tyler professor of art – College of Arts and Sciences.

Pace received his M.F.A. in 1984 from Arizona State University in Tempe. He has had many solo and group exhibitions of his work in Texas, Arizona, Oklahoma, Illinois, Arkansas and Louisiana. Pace has been the UT Tyler Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation Excellence in Teaching nominee and has been awarded the Chancellor’s Council Teaching Award. He also has served on numerous university and college committees.

The commencement schedule is:

  • College of Nursing and Health Sciences – 3 p.m. Dec. 14;
  • College of Business and Technology – 10 a.m. Dec. 15;
  • Colleges of Education and Psychology and Engineering and Computer Science – 1 p.m. Dec. 15; and
  • College of Arts and Sciences – 4 p.m. Dec.15.

President Mabry will give remarks and certify the degree candidates at each ceremony.

Presentation of degree candidates will be made by the deans of each of the university’s colleges: Dr. Alisa White, Arts and Sciences; Dr. Jim Tarter, Business and Technology; Dr. William Geiger, Education and Psychology; Dr. James Nelson, Engineering and Computer Science; and Dr. Linda Klotz, Nursing and Health Sciences.

Alumni association presentations will be given by Tara McDonald, CPA for Henry & Peters, PC.

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 70 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of more than 6,000 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.

Fall 2007 UT Tyler Commencement Lists:


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