Nine hundred and seventy-one graduates are eligible to march in one of three commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 15, at The University of Texas-Pan American Fieldhouse.
The ceremony for graduates from the College of Arts and Humanities, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and College of Health Sciences and Human Services will be at 11 a.m., while graduates from the College of Education will march at 2 p.m. and graduates from the College of Business Administration and College of Science and Engineering will have their commencement at 5 p.m.
Two speakers are scheduled to address the three groups of graduates. Rosie Zamora, owner and president of Telesurveys Research Associates, a Houston-based opinion research firm, is expected to speak at the 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. ceremonies, and Jim Notarnicola, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Blockbuster Entertainment Group, is scheduled to speak at the 5 p.m. graduation ceremony.
Zamora serves on the board of directors of Houston Endowment Inc., a private foundation dedicated to the support of charitable undertakings. Active in support of Houston's business community, she also serves on the board of directors of the Greater Houston Partnership, on the Houston Regional Advisory Board of Chase Bank of Texas and on the board of directors of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Her commitment to the Hispanic community is both consistent and longstanding. She serves on the national board of directors of Hispanics in Philanthropy, founded to promote issues and concerns affecting Hispanics; is on the national board of directors of the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute; is a founding officer and past president of the Hispanic Genealogical Society; and is a Hispanic Women's Hall of Fame inductee.
Notarnicola is responsible for overseeing marketing, human resources and corporate communications, as well as for the video retailer's product department. Prior to joining Blockbuster, he had an 18-year tenure with The Southland Corporation, which operates the 7-Eleven convenience store chain. While at Southland, he held positions with increased responsibility in field operations, marketing, urban affairs, communications and human resources.
He holds a bachelor of science degree from the University of Maryland in College Park. He also attended The University of Texas at Austin Graduate School in Business, where he studied advanced marketing, finance and accounting. He is vice chair of The University of Texas Foundation Board of Trustees, a member of the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation and a volunteer for Christian Community Action in Lewisville, Texas.
Introducing the speakers will be the top graduates at each ceremony. At the 11 a.m. commencement, the top graduate will be Geoffrey Merwin Pearson of Edinburg, at the 2 p.m. ceremony it will be Genie Ellen Rogers of McAllen, and at 5 p.m. it will be Kimberly K. Wernecke of McAllen.
The 971 candidates for degrees will include one candidate for a doctorate, 154 candidates for master's degrees, 787 candidates for bachelor's degrees and 29 candidates for associate's degrees.
A reception honoring the graduates will be held after each ceremony in the Fieldhouse Courtyard, with music provided by The University of Texas-Pan American Student Ensemble.