Convocation Speakers to Address Spring 2018 Graduates on May 18 and 19

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AUSTIN, Texas — Jewelry mogul Kendra Scott, former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro and TV journalists Soledad O’Brien and Arthel Neville, along with other leaders from business, politics and academia, are among the speakers for the 2018 spring convocation ceremonies held by schools and colleges at The University of Texas at Austin on May 18 and 19.

Vice Adm. Raquel C. Bono, director of the Defense Health Agency, will deliver the keynote address during the 134th university-wide Spring Commencement address May 19 on the Main Mall. 

A map for navigating campus during commencement weekend, including information about construction and road closures, is available at http://commencement.utexas.edu/getting-around/maps.

Parking for commencement activities is free on a first-come, first-served basis. On Friday, May 18, university parking garages will be available. On Saturday, May 19, university parking garages and most surface lots will be available, with the exception of spaces marked "At All Times." 

Convocations at the university's colleges and schools recognize students individually. The convocation speakers for these ceremonies are listed below. 

Friday, May 18

8 a.m. — McCombs School of Business (ceremony for undergraduates), Frank Erwin Center. Speaker: Kendra Scott, chairman, CEO and founder of Kendra Scott LLC  

8:30 a.m. — Department of Government (College of Liberal Arts), Gregory Gymnasium. Speaker: Paul Begala, B.A. ’83, J.D. ’90, political consultant and CNN political commentator

8:30 a.m. — College of Pharmacy, Bass Concert Hall, Performing Arts Center. Speaker: Steven Leslie, executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, UT System, James E. Bauerle Centennial Professorship in Drug Dynamics

10 a.m. — Department of History (College of Liberal Arts), Hogg Memorial Auditorium. Speaker: Tim Taliaferro, B.A. ’05, chief innovative officer, Texas Monthly

11:30 a.m. — College of Liberal Arts, Frank Erwin Center. Speakers: Betty Sue Flowers, B.A. ’69, M.A. ’70, former director of the LBJ Presidential Library, Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus and the Joan Negley Kelleher Centennial Professor Emeritus in Rhetoric and Composition

Noon — College of Education, Gregory Gymnasium. Speaker: Katie Tackett, M.Ed ’04, Ph.D. ’09, clinical assistant professor, Department of Special Education

Noon — School of Nursing, Bass Concert Hall, Performing Arts Center. Speaker: Barbara Mann Wall, B.S.N. ’71, professor, University of Virginia School of Nursing

Noon — Master of Science in Finance (MSF), Business Analytics, Marketing, McCombs School of Business, Lady Bird Johnson Auditorium, LBJ Presidential Library. Speaker: Ed Tonkon, president, Zebra Retail Solutions

3 p.m. — Master of Business Administration, McCombs School of Business, Gregory Gymnasium. Speaker: Arthur Mills IV, executive director, Talent Management and Organizational Strategy, Fulton County Schools

3 p.m. — College of Fine Arts, Bass Concert Hall, Performing Arts Center. Speaker: Chelsey Green, B.M. ’07, string musician, founder, The Green Project ensemble, associate professor, Berklee College of Music

3 p.m. — Moody College of Communication, Frank Erwin Center. Speaker: Arthel Neville, B.J. ‘86, news anchor, Fox News

6 p.m. — Department of Psychology (College of Liberal Arts), Gregory Gymnasium. Speaker: Michael J. Telch, professsor of psychology and psychiatry

6 p.m. — Department of English (College of Liberal Arts), Bass Concert Hall, Performing Arts Center. Speaker: Edward Carey, associate professor of English

7 p.m. — Cockrell School of Engineering, Frank Erwin Center. Speaker: Jim Wiethorn, B.S. ’73, M.S. ‘75, principal engineer and chairman, Haag Engineering Co.

Saturday, May 19

8 a.m. — College of Natural Sciences (Ceremony 1): Biochemistry, Biology, Molecular Biosciences, Marine Science, Neuroscience, Clinical Laboratory Science, Environmental Science, Medical Laboratory Science, at Frank Erwin Center. Speaker: Nick Conley, CEO and co-founder, EpiBiome

9 a.m. — Department of Economics (College of Liberal Arts), Gregory Gymnasium. Speaker: Steve Houston, B.A. ’89, partner, m+ funds

9 a.m. — Graduate School (master’s degree candidates), Bass Concert Hall, Performing Arts Center. Speaker: Mark J.T. Smith, dean of the Graduate School, senior vice provost for academic affairs. Note: tickets are required. 

9 a.m. — Plan II Honors Program (College of Liberal Arts), Hogg Memorial Auditorium. Speaker: Dhananjay Jagannathan, B.A. ’09, assistant professor of philosophy at Columbia University. Note: tickets are required. 

10 a.m. — Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies (College of Liberal Arts), Bass Concert Hall, Performing Arts Center. Speaker: Cristina Tzintzún, B.A. ’06, executive director, Jolt

11 a.m. — LBJ School of Public Affairs, LBJ Auditorium. Speaker: Soledad O’Brien, TV journalist, Hearst Television; chairwoman, Starfish Media Group

Noon — College of Natural Sciences (Ceremony 2): Astronomy, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics, at Frank Erwin Center. Speaker: Nick Conley, CEO and co-founder, EpiBiome

Noon — Graduate School (doctoral degree candidates), Bass Concert Hall, Performing Arts Center. Speaker: UT President Gregory L. Fenves. Note: tickets are required. 

12:30 p.m. — Master in Professional Accounting (MPA), McCombs School of Business, Gregory Gymnasium. Speaker: Phil Green, chairman and chief executive officer, Cullen/Frost Bankers Inc.

3 p.m. — School of Architecture, Hogg Memorial Auditorium. Speaker: Julián Castro, Dean’s Distinguished Fellow of the Dávila Chair in International Trade Policy, LBJ School of Public Affairs; former mayor of San Antonio and former U.S. secretary of housing and urban development. Note: tickets are required. 

3 p.m. — Jackson School of Geosciences, Bates Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center. Speaker: Reginald Beasley, former global recruiting manager, Exxon Mobil

3 p.m. — Steve Hicks School of Social Work, Bass Concert Hall, Performing Arts Center. Speakers: Jamica Janie Shivers, B.S.W., and Kayla Marie Richards, MSSW, members of the graduating class chosen by their peers

3:30 p.m. — Master of Science in Technology Commercialization (MSTC), McCombs School of Business, Zlotnik Ballroom, Robert Rowling Hall. Speaker: Mellie Price, executive director of commercialization, Dell Medical School

3:30 p.m. — College of Natural Sciences (Ceremony 3): School of Human Ecology, Public Health, Human Ecology, Human Development and Family Sciences, Nutrition, Textiles and Apparel, at Frank Erwin Center. Speaker: Lana Cain Krauter, CEO of Charming Charlie

3:30 p.m. — School of Law, Gregory Gymnasium. Speaker: Linda Addison, J.D. ’76, B.A. ’73, immediate past managing partner, Norton Rose Fulbright U.S., LLP

4 p.m. — School of Information, AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center, Amphitheater. Speaker: Carlos Gonzalez Gutierrez, consul general of Mexico in Austin

Reminder: Backpacks and any bag larger than 12 inches in any dimension will not be allowed into any of the venues.

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