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December 17, 2008

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

UT Tyler to Hold Fall 2008 Commencement

The University of Texas at Tyler will hold fall commencement ceremonies Dec. 19 and 20, President Rodney H. Mabry announced.

Six hundred eighty-four degree candidates will be recognized in the UT Tyler R. Don Cowan Fine and Performing Arts Center.

The commencement schedule is:

  • College of Nursing and Health Sciences – 3 p.m. Dec. 19;
  • College of Business and Technology – 10 a.m. Dec. 20;
  • Colleges of Education and Psychology and Engineering and Computer Science – 1 p.m. Dec. 20; and
  • College of Arts and Sciences – 4 p.m. Dec. 20.

Commencement speakers and the ceremonies during which they will speak are:

  • Dr. David L. Lakey, Texas Department of State Health Services commissioner – College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

Lakey became commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services in January 2007. He leads one of the state’s largest agencies with a staff of 12,000 and an annual budget of $2.5 billion. Prior to serving the state, he was an associate professor of medicine, chief of the divisions of clinical infectious disease and Center for Pulmonary and Infectious Disease            Control medical director at UT Health Science Center at Tyler.

  • Tom Harken, 1992 Horatio Alger Award of Distinguished Americans recipient – College of Business and Technology.

Harken, a motivational speaker, literacy activist and entrepreneur, has been profiled on Parade Magazine, Texas Monthly, Good Morning America, CBS Evening News and the PBS series, Against All Odds. His board memberships include Guideposts, Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Texas Medical Association Foundation and National Literacy Volunteers.

  • Dr. J.P. Mohsen, president-elect of the American Society for Engineering Education – Colleges of Education and Psychology and Engineering and Computer Science.

Mohsen is professor and chair of the civil and environmental engineering department at the University of Louisville-Kentucky where he has taught since 1981. He holds a Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of Cincinnati. Mohsen was named Engineer of the Year in Education by the Kentucky section of American Society of Civil Engineers in 1999 and         received the University of Louisville Distinguished Service to the Profession Award in 1999 and the Distinguished Teaching Professor Award in 2003.

  • Barbara Bass, City of Tyler mayor – College of Arts and Sciences.

Bass, elected as the city’s mayor in May 2008, is a certified public accountant with more than 30 years of experience. She holds a BBA in accounting from Texas A&M University-Commerce. A current foundation board chair for Hospice of East Texas and foundation treasurer for Pollard United Methodist Church, Bass previously served as chair of the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce, Tyler Economic Development Council and the Better Business Bureau of Central East Texas.

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 representative Jeff Baker will give alumni association presentations.

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. Nearly 90 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.

Commencement Graduation Candidates Lists:







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