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UT System Regent Martha Smiley to speak at two commencement ceremonies May 16 at UT Pan American
Posted: 05/08/1998
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University of Texas System Regent Martha Smiley of Austin will address graduates at two of the three commencement ceremonies at The University of Texas-Pan American scheduled for May 16 in the University Fieldhouse.

Smiley will speak at ceremonies at 11 a.m. for graduates of the College of Arts and Humanities, College of Health Sciences and Human Services and College of Social and Behavioral Sciences; and at 2 p.m. for graduates of the College of Education.

A speaker for the 5 p.m. commencement for the College of Business Administration and College of Science and Engineering has not yet been finalized.

A native of Mission, Smiley was appointed to a six-year term on The University of Texas System Board of Regents by Gov. Ann Richards in 1993. She served as vice chairman of the board from March 1995 to February 1997.

She currently provides strategic planning and business development consultation to telecommunications companies after recently retiring as a partner from the law firm of Bickerstaff, Heath and Smiley, where she served from 1981 to 1995. She also served as counsel for Region VI of the Environmental Protection Agency from 1979 to 1981, and was chief of the taxation division of the Texas Attorney General's Office from 1973 to 1979.

Smiley's areas of emphasis in her law practice include public law, communications law and administrative law. She is a life fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and has been active in the State Bar Association.

Her civic and community activities have included serving as chair of the Collaboration Committee of the A-Plus Coalition of the Austin school district, serving as commissioner and vice chair of the Texas National Research Laboratory Commission, and serving as a member of the citizens advisory committee for the start-up of the Texas state lottery.

She also has been a member of the board of directors of the Foundation for Women's Resources, the Austin Women's Center, the Texas Rape Prevention and Control Project, the Austin Area Urban League and the Austin Commission on the Status of Women. She has chaired the Austin Women's Political Caucus and the Texas Women's Political Caucus, and in 1978-79 she served on the Administrative Committee of the National Women's Political Caucus.

Smiley received the 1991 Outstanding Achievement Award from the Travis County Women Lawyers. In 1978, she was named the Outstanding Woman in Justice by the American Association of University Women, and in 1977 she was selected as the Woman of the Year by the Texas Women's Political Caucus.

She received a bachelor's degree in sociology from Baylor University in 1969 and a law degree from UT Austin in 1972. She has been a member of the board of directors and the executive committee of the Texas Law School Alumni Association and was recently named to the Board of Directors of First Interstate Bank of Texas.