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May 6, 2009

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

UT Tyler to Hold Spring 2009 Commencement

The University of Texas at Tyler will hold spring commencement ceremonies May 8 and 9, President Rodney H. Mabry announced.

Eight hundred fifteen 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. May 8;
  • College of Business and Technology – 10 a.m. May 9;
  • Colleges of Education and Psychology and Engineering and Computer Science – 1 p.m. May 9; and
  • College of Arts and Sciences – 4 p.m. May 9.

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.
  • Barbara Bass, City of Tyler mayor – College of Business and Technology. 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.
  • Dr. Randy Reid, Tyler Independent School District superintendent – Colleges of Education and Psychology and Engineering and Computer Science. Reid joined the largest school system in East Texas as its superintendent in July 2007. He previously served as superintendent for Celina Independent School District and spent more than 20 years of his education career at Richardson Independent School District as a teacher, coach, assistant principal and principal. Reid holds a bachelor’s from Baylor University and a master’s and Ph.D. in education administration from Texas A&M  University-Commerce.
  • Dr. David J. Fine, St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System president and chief executive officer – College of Arts and Sciences. Concurrent with his management responsibilities, Fine presently holds professorial appointments at Rice University, Texas A&M University, Baylor College of Medicine and UT Health Science Center at Houston. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including a doctor of philosophy honoris causa from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2007. Fine holds a bachelor of arts magna cum laude from Tufts University and a master of hospital administration from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, where he was a U.S. Public Health Service trainee and winner of the James A. Hamilton Prize.


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. Mary Fischer, Business and Technology; Dr. William Geiger, Education and Psychology; Dr. James Nelson, Engineering and Computer Science; and Dr. Linda Klotz, Nursing and Health Sciences.

UT Tyler alumni representative Carroll Roge 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.

Spring 2009 Degree Candidates Lists:


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