More than 3,700 Texas A&M University students are scheduled to receive diplomas this week, with three commencement exercises set for Friday (Dec. 13) at Reed Arena. The university’s graduation ceremonies formally kick off Thursday with a commencement convocation address by President R. Bowen Loftin.
The address by Loftin is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in Rudder Auditorium. Also, earlier Thursday the university’s outgoing president will be honored at a two-hour public reception at Rudder Exhibit Hall, beginning at 9 a.m., with remarks planned for approximately 10 a.m. Loftin announced in July that he would step down from the presidency on Jan. 13, 2014.
The Friday commencement ceremonies at Reed Arena are set for 9 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Degree candidates will receive their diplomas in accordance with times set to feature the colleges or schools in which their degrees were earned. A listing of colleges that will be included in each ceremony can be viewed here.
Military commissions earned through participation in Texas A&M Corps of Cadets will be awarded at the 2 p.m. program. The ceremony will honor 29 cadets set to be commissioned as officers in the Army, Air Force, Navy or Marine Corps.
Commencement convocation is a relatively new Texas A&M tradition in which all members of a graduating class have the opportunity to assemble together, along with family members and friends prior to the presentation of degree.
The convocation, graduation exercises and the commissioning ceremonies are open to the public, university officials noted.
Continuing a tradition initiated last year in acknowledgment of the university’s commitment to honoring veterans, all graduates who have prior military service will be given special commemorative red, white and blue cords are invited to wear them as part of their academic regalia. Their cords will be available at a reception for all active duty and veteran Aggies at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11, in the Stark Galleries.
Denise M. Captain, a chemistry teacher at Skyline High School in Dallas, will be presented the Texas A&M University Inspiration Award for Exceptional Education at the 7 p.m. ceremony. Captain was nominated for the award by a former student, Carla Beltran, who will be on hand to see her teacher honored by the university and receive her degree in technology management. Teachers selected to receive this unusual award — believed to be the first of its type sponsored by any public university in Texas — will be presented a check for $2,000 and her school will receive a $1,000 award.
The Association of Former Students will continue its “Next Tradition” program in which it offers new graduates a “drive thru” opportunity to have representative decals placed on their vehicles and, joined by family members, attend come-and-go open houses at the Clayton Williams Jr. Alumni Center. The “drive thru” will be held 1-5 p.m. Thursday and the open houses will be held from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Friday.
Media Contact: Lane Stephenson, News & Information Services, at (979) 845-4662