Victoria mayor to address graduates at UHV commencement ceremonies

Victoria Mayor Paul Polasek gives an acceptance speech after being named University of Houston-Victoria’s Alumni of the Year during the 2012-2013 UHV President’s Annual Report & Excellence Awards event. Polasek will give the keynote address May 10 at UHV’s two graduation ceremonies.

Victoria Mayor Paul Polasek will deliver the keynote address May 10 during University of Houston-Victoria spring commencement ceremonies.

Polasek, a 1990 UHV graduate, was elected mayor in May after seven years of serving on the Victoria City Council. He was chosen as UHV’s Alumni of the Year in November during the 2012-2013 UHV President’s Annual Report & Excellence Awards event.

Wayne Beran

“We’re pleased Mayor Polasek has agreed to be the keynote speaker on what will be a special day for hundreds of our students,” UHV Acting President Wayne Beran said. “As a lifelong Victorian, a UHV alumnus, a three-time councilman and the mayor of Victoria, Mr. Polasek has seen firsthand the growth and outreach of our university. We’re delighted he has agreed to share his wisdom with our graduates and their families.”

UHV will hold two graduation ceremonies in Victoria. Both will take place in Faith Family Church, 2002 E. Mockingbird Lane, the largest indoor facility available in Victoria. The 9 a.m. ceremony will be for graduates of the schools of Arts & Sciences and Education & Human Development. The 1 p.m. ceremony will be for the schools of Business Administration and Nursing.

Polasek said it is a privilege to be asked to give the commencement addresses.

“It’s a special day for students and their families,” he said. “I’m honored to have the opportunity to share my thoughts. I’m giving my speech a lot of consideration because it’s such a momentous occasion.”

Polasek said he will talk about key virtues in life and relate examples from his own experiences.

“While the keynote address is probably not going to be the highlight of graduation day for students, my intention is provide them with a meaningful message they will remember,” he said.

Polasek is a partner in Aloe Software Group. He graduated in 1990 from UHV with a Bachelor of Business Administration. He went on to earn a Master of Business Administration from UH. His wife, Michelle, graduated in 1989 from UHV with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics.

Polasek said he attended his UHV and UH graduations.

“The specifics of those days have faded over time, but I still remember what an exciting occasions they were,” Polasek said.

Polasek has served on the Victoria City Council since 2006. In February 2013, he gave up his council seat to run for mayor because he said he wanted to improve communication with the public and address the city’s infrastructure needs.

Even before serving on the City Council, Polasek devoted time and energy to improving the quality of life in Victoria. He has served on many community boards, including the Victoria Planning Commission and the Victoria Parks and Recreation Commission.

He and Michelle have been married for 25 years and have two sons.

The UHV Alumni of the Year award is handed out annually to a graduate who has distinguished himself in his profession while taking an active leadership role in the community.

For more information about UHV commencement, contact special events coordinator Nancy Gresham at 361-570-4351 or

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Jeremy Shapiro