Nearly 1,200 expected to graduate Dec. 16
Contact: Scott Maier, Senior Editor 381-3639
Posted: 12/04/2000
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A total of 1,187 graduates are expected to march in four commencement ceremonies Saturday, Dec. 16, 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 9 a.m., while graduates from the College of Education will march at noon. Graduates from the College of Business Administration and College of Science and Engineering will have their commencement at 3 p.m.

Students receiving their doctoral and master's degrees will walk at 6 p.m.

Three speakers have confirmed to speak at graduation: Dr. Craig L. Hanis, professor at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, will speak at the 9 a.m. ceremony; Dr. Jesus H. Chavez, superintendent for the Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District, will speak at noon; and Robert Shepard, Texas Higher Education Coordination Board member and Harlingen businessman, will speak at 3 p.m.

Hanis, 48, is a professor in the Human Genetics Center of the School of Public Health at the UTHSC-Houston, where he has been since 1981.

Dr. Craig L. Hanis
He is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Diabetes Association, the American Society of Human Genetics, the International Diabetes Federation, and the U.S.-Mexico Border Health Association.

Among his honors, Hanis has garnered several "teaching excellence" awards from the dean of the UTHSC-Houston Graduate School. He also has received several new investigator and research career development awards, along with the John P. McGovern Outstanding Teacher Award.

Hanis obtained bachelor's and master's of science degrees in zoology from Brigham Young University, as well as a Master of Arts in Statistics and a Doctorate in Human Genetics from the University of Michigan.

Born in Brownsville, Chavez, 43, has led the

Dr. Jesus H. Chavez
Harlingen CISD for five years and previously was an assistant superintendent, director for planning and assessment, assistant principal and teacher. He is a member of the Rotary, Lions Club, Elks Lodge, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and Phi Delta Kappa.

He recently was selected as the Region One Superintendent of the Year and was one of five finalists for State Superintendent of the Year.

Chavez serves on the Secondary Commission, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and sits on boards of the Northern Cameron County United Way, Texas PTA, Rio Grande Council of Boy Scouts of America and the Harlingen Chamber of Commerce. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a doctorate in special education administration at UT-Austin, as well as a Master of Education in Educational Administration at Pan American University in Brownsville.

Shepard, 54, is board chairman for the Shepard Walton King Insurance Group.

Robert Shepard
He is chairman of The University of Texas-Brownsville Development Board and a member of the UTPA Business Council, the Harlingen Economic Development Corp., the Texas Association of Independent Agents of America and the Tex Pool Advisory Board.

He was a former member and board chairman at Pan American University and also served on the Harlingen Industrial Foundation, the Harlingen Area Chamber of Commerce (as chairman), the Texas Business Hall of Fame (as director) and the Texas Lyceum (as director).

Shepard obtained a bachelor's in business administration from UT-Austin in 1972. He is chair of the Campus Planning Committee for the Coordinating Board, and his term expires Aug. 31, 2003.

The top graduates at each ceremony will introduce the speakers. At the first commencement, the top graduate is Ingrid Devilliers of McAllen. Deborah Lynn Bickerton of Mission will introduce the speaker at noon, and Veronica Estrada of San Juan will introduce the 3 p.m. speaker.

The 1,187 prospective candidates for degrees include two candidates for doctoral degrees, 265 candidates for master's degrees and 920 candidates for bachelor's degrees.

Graduates are asked to arrive one hour before their commencement begins.

For more information, contact the Office of Admissions and Records at 956/381-2201 or 381-2206. Individuals with disabilities needing assistance or reasonable accommodations must contact the office before Dec. 5.