Record number of students to walk in Saturday’s fall graduation ceremony

KATY – The University of Houston-Victoria will hold its largest commencement ceremony ever when approximately 335 graduates are recognized at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Leonard E. Merrell Center.

Approximately 275 graduates attended spring commencement in May in Victoria, and about 250 walked in the ceremony a year ago in Katy.

Tim Hudson

“UHV is experiencing significant growth,” UHV President Tim Hudson said. “We enrolled nearly 3,200 students at UHV this fall, which was a 14 percent increase from the previous fall. Now we have about 80 more students coming to commencement than we did last year.”

UHV Faculty Senate President Dan Jaeckle will serve as grand marshal during commencement. The deans of UHV’s four schools will award students their diplomas, and Hudson and Renu Khator, the UH System chancellor and UH president, will confer the degrees. Outstanding students for the fall semester will be recognized, along with faculty members who have previously received awards for excellence in teaching, research and service.

UH System Board of Regents Chairman Welcome W. Wilson Sr. will bring greetings on behalf of the board, and Khator will bring greetings from the UH System. Regents Jacob M. Monty, Carroll R. Ray and Calvin Stephens, and Student Regent Tamara Goodwin will be in attendance.

Glenn Hegar

Texas Sen. Glenn Hegar, the youngest member of the Senate, will deliver the commencement address. Hegar represents District 18, which includes Victoria, Katy and 18 counties, most of which are served by UHV.

Hegar serves as vice chairman of the Committee on Government Organization and as a member of the Committee on Natural Resources, the Committee on Nominations and the Committee on Criminal Justice.

In January, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst appointed Hegar as vice chairman of the Sunset Advisory Commission.His appointment made state history, marking the first time a freshman member of the Texas Legislature was appointed to a leadership position of chairman or vice chairman of the commission.

Prior to running for the Senate, Hegar served in the Texas House of Representatives from 2003 to 2007. He has a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M, and master’s and Doctor of Laws degrees from St. Mary’s University.He also earned a Master of Laws degree from the University of Arkansas.

In recognition for his service to the state, Hegar was named one of the Best Legislators and the Rookie of the Year for the 80th Session by Capitol Inside magazine. He also has received the Legislative Excellence Award from the Texas Municipal Police Association, the Star for Rural Texas from the Texas Farm Bureau and the Perfectly Pro-Life Award from Texas Right to Life.

Hegar, and his wife, Dara, have three children, Claire, Julie and Jonah.

Following the ceremony, a reception for graduates and their guests will take place in the Merrell Center.

The UHV School of Nursing also will have its second annual Pinning Ceremony beginning at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in the Merrell Center. About 30 graduates are expected to attend and will receive pins to wear on their lapels for the rest of their professional career. Chairman Wilson will be the keynote speaker.

“Commencement is an exciting time for all of us at UHV as we watch these students fulfill their dreams of obtaining a higher education,” Hudson said. “I am proud of these students for all their hard work, and I know that their futures shine bright.”

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.

Paula Cobler