State Rep. Geanie Morrison to give UHV commencement keynote address

State Rep. Geanie Morrison, whose work during the last legislative session helped ensure that the University of Houston-Victoria would be able to add underclassmen this upcoming fall, will give the keynote address during the university’s May 15 spring graduation ceremony.

“We are honored to have Representative Morrison as our spring commencement speaker,” UHV President Tim Hudson said. “Her ongoing support and commitment to UHV’s success has helped put us on the path to becoming a destination university able to serve our region and our state with high-quality, affordable, undergraduate and graduate programs.”

Geanie Morrison

Commencement will start at 9 a.m. on the east side of the UHV University West building, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St.

Morrison is serving her sixth term in the Texas Legislature. For the 81st legislative session, she was appointed to the House Committee on Appropriations and as vice chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Education. She also serves on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Stimulus funding, as the co-chair of the National Council of State Legislatures – Blue Ribbon Commission on Higher Education, and as a commissioner of the Education Commission of the States.

During the most recent session, Morrison introduced House Bill 1056, which Gov. Rick Perry signed on June 19 to allow UHV to add its FIRST 200 freshmen and sophomores in the fall of 2010. She also recently formed the Crossroads Commission on Education, made up of community leaders who are researching and making recommendations about issues that impact all levels of educational attainment.

“It is a privilege to have been asked to speak at the UHV commencement ceremony,” Morrison said.  “I have long been a vocal advocate for the importance of education and to be able to recognize these students for their hard work and achievements is truly an honor.”

Morrison has received numerous honors for her commitment to education, including being recognized by the Texas Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators as Legislator of the Year. She has received the Texas Higher Education Leadership Star Award from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the Educational Testing Services Legislative Excellence in Education Award, the Texas Community College Teachers Association Legislator of the Year Award and the Distinguished Service Award presented by the Texas Regional Collaboratives.

Most recently, she was recognized in 2009 by Texans for Fiscal Responsibility with a Taxpayers Champion Award and the Texas Association of Business with a Texas Legislature’s Champions and Fighters for Free Enterprise Award.

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

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