UHV graduates to celebrate achievements at fall commencement

KATY – More than 420 University of Houston-Victoria students are scheduled to walk Saturday in the university’s fall 2016 commencement ceremony and hear from a longtime university leader.

Vic Morgan

The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. at the Leonard E. Merrell Center, 6301 S. Stadium Lane. Live streaming of the ceremony can be seen at

“Commencement provides students with a gratifying opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments in front of their families and friends,” UHV President Vic Morgan said. “Each of our graduates faced challenges on their road to commencement, so this is a milestone day to celebrate their hard work and dedication.”

The keynote speaker will be Don Smith, UHV provost emeritus. During the last three decades, Smith has served as UHV’s dean for academic affairs, provost and vice president for academic affairs, and interim president four times. Most recently, Smith filled in from May 1 to Aug. 26 as interim provost and vice president for academic affairs until David Cockrum stepped into the position.

Don Smith

As provost, Smith was involved in the planning for UHV’s addition of freshman and sophomore classes, and helped plan off-campus and online course offerings. He also helped develop partnerships with several community colleges and strengthened UHV’s relationship with the UH System.

Roger Welder, a UH System regent from Victoria, will bring greetings on behalf of the UH System Board of Regents, and Megan Huerta, UHV Student Government Association president, will lead the moment of silence.

James Higgins, UHV Faculty Senate president, will serve as grand marshal of the ceremony and Amy Hatmaker, UHV Staff Council chair, will give the welcome. Morgan will confer the degrees and the deans of each of UHV’s three schools will certify that students have met requirements for their degrees. In addition, the outstanding students from each school will be recognized.

Chris Pemberton, a UHV Class of 2008 alumnus and chief product officer at White Cloud Security, will induct the new graduates into UHV’s alumni.

UHV holds graduation ceremonies in two different locations each year. Spring commencement is in Victoria, while the fall ceremony is held in Katy.

For general information about UHV commencement, contact Nancy Moffett, UHV special events coordinator, at 361-570-4351 or Students who have graduation questions should contact Michael Wilkinson, UHV Student Life director, at 361-485-4408 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