PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas–U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and John D. White, chairman of the board of regents for the Texas A&M University System will address members of the class of 2007 during Prairie View A&M University´s 126th commencement exercises to be held Saturday, May 12 in the William J. "Billy" Nicks Building.
This year the university is preparing to confer degrees on more than 800 candidates from its nine colleges and schools during two commencement exercises.
Senator Hutchison will deliver the commencement address during the university´s 9:00 a.m. ceremony and White will deliver the commencement address for the1:00 p.m. ceremony. Both ceremonies will be held in the William J. "Billy" Nicks Building.
"Indeed, we are fortunate to have two accomplished leaders who will deliver words of encouragement to our spring graduates," states President George C. Wright. "It is an honor to have this pioneer in Texas history who is at the forefront of American politics and our board chairman, whose influence impacts the education and ultimately this state and our nation."
The commencement ceremony for the College of Arts & Sciences, College of Business, College of Education and the College of Engineering will be held Saturday, May 12 at 8:45 a.m. The line up begins at 8 a.m.
The second ceremony for the Graduate School, College of Agriculture and Human Sciences, School of Architecture, College of Juvenile Justice and Psychology and the College of Nursing will be held Saturday, May 12 at 12:45 p.m. The line up begins at noon.
During both commencement ceremonies, the university will present its annual Humanitarian Award to a PVAMU student and non-student. Since 2005, the PVAMU Humanitarian Award has honored individuals whose lives reflect their dedication to PVAMU´s highest humanitarian principles and whose lives clearly exemplify a spirit of love and helpfulness to others.
About U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison:
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, a native of La Marque, Texas, is the first — and, to date, the only — woman elected to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate. After her first full six-year term, more than four million Texans voted for her re-election to a second full term — no other Texas candidate has ever captured more votes. Re-elected in 2006, she serves as chairman of the Republican Policy Committee in the 110th Congress, and is the fourth-highest ranking Republican senator. A graduate of the University of Texas Law School, Senator Hutchison has played a vital role in shaping America´s defense policy and fulfilling our nation´s promises to our veterans as chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs. She introduced and passed legislation creating an Overseas Basing Commission, which conducted a comprehensive review of the readiness of the U.S. military to meet 21st century threats. During her term as chairman of the Commerce Committee´s Subcommittee on Aviation, she played a major role in drafting the Airline Security Bill passed by Congress after the September 11 terrorist attacks.
A champion for tax relief, Senator Hutchison has led the fight to provide relief from the marriage income tax penalty and she sponsored the new Homemaker IRA, allowing stay-at-home spouses to save for retirement through an IRA. Senator Hutchison was instrumental in establishing The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST). It is the centerpiece of her effort to promote Texas as a science state. During her tenure in the U.S. Senate, Senator Hutchison has helped Texas to move to third in the nation in receipt of federal research and development funding.
About Chairman John D. White:
Mr. John D. White, founder and general counsel of Standard Renewal Energy Group of Houston, is Chairman of the Board of Regents, Texas A&M University System. He is a fifth generation Texas rancher and second generation Texas A&M Aggie. He received his bachelor´s degree in political science from Texas A&M University in 1970. While at Texas A&M University, White was a distinguished military student, a member of the Ross Volunteers and Commander of the First Wing, Corps of Cadets. He earned his jurist doctorate degree from the University of Texas and began his career in the U.S. Air Force as Judge-Advocate.
A fellow of the American, Texas and Houston Bar Associations and Foundations, Mr. White is past chairman of the Texas Young Lawyers Association. He practices before
the Supreme Court of the United States, Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit and U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Eastern and Northern Districts of Texas. Mr. White was appointed to the Board of Regents by Governor Rick Perry in 2003. He was elected Chairman of the Board in 2005. Mr. White serves as chair of the Public Policy and Planning Committee and as a member of the Presidential Library Committee. He also serves as the Board´s special liaison to the Texas A&M University Association of Former Students, a member of the Hermann F. & Minnie Belle Heep Texas A&M University Foundation and serves as the special liaison to the Board for Lease of University Lands. Mr. White has served as a member of the Committee on Finance and the Committee on Buildings and Physical Plant. He has also served as chair of the Policy Review Committee and as the Board´s special liaison to the Texas Growth Fund Board. His term on the board expires February 1, 2009.
About Prairie View A&M University:
Ranked No. 27 on Black Enterprise magazine´s 2006 list of "Top 50 Colleges and Universities for African-Americans", Prairie View A&M University was founded in 1876 and is the second-oldest public institution of higher education in Texas. With an established reputation for producing engineers, nurses and educators, PVAMU offers baccalaureate degrees in 50 academic majors, 37 master´s degrees and four doctoral degree programs through nine colleges and schools. A member of the Texas A&M University System, the university is dedicated to fulfilling its land-grant mission of achieving excellence in teaching, research and service. During the university´s 131-year history, nearly 48,000 academic degrees have been awarded. For more information regarding PVAMU, visit www.pvamu.edu.