UTPA commencement set for May 14
Posted: 05/06/2005
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This spring semester, prospective graduates at The University of Texas-Pan American will participate in four spring commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 14 at the UTPA Fieldhouse.

The 1,617 prospective graduates for degrees include 1,310 for bachelor's, 298 candidates for master's and nine for doctoral degrees.

- Anna Escobedo Cabral
Ceremonies this year will feature undergraduate and graduate candidates from each of the six colleges in joint ceremonies at their respective times. In the past, UTPA has held a separate ceremony for both master and doctoral candidates.

"All recipients of degrees awarded by a college will graduate together helping to build the bond between a college's alumni. It also allows the graduate degree candidates, both master's and doctoral, to serve as role models for the baccalaureate candidates to show them the possibility of continuing their education and receiving a master's or doctoral degree," William L. Morris, UTPA registrar, said.

With this change, the University has also decided to change the ceremony times as well.

"Due to the ever increasing number of graduates and having the graduate and undergraduate students combined into the same ceremony, we have had to change the times of each ceremony to prevent them from overlapping," Dela Howlett, assistant registrar in the Office of Records and Registration, said.

The first ceremony of the day is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. and will feature candidates from the Colleges of Business Administration and Social and Behavioral Sciences. Prospective graduates of the Colleges of Health Sciences and Human Services and Science and Engineering will walk at noon.

- Dr. Milagros "Millie" Mateu

The 3:30 p.m. ceremony will highlight the candidates of the College of Arts and Humanities, while the College of Education will be the last and largest group to walk at 6:30 p.m. with 435 candidates.

Arts and Humanities will have 298 candidates participate in the ceremony; Business Administration, 254; Health Sciences and Human Services, 210; Science and Engineering, 238 and Social and Behavioral Sciences, 182.

With the maximum seating capacity of the UTPA Fieldhouse at 3,200 and the large number of prospective graduates this semester, the University will distribute tickets for the following ceremonies: 8:30 a.m. - candidates will receive nine tickets each: noon and 6:30 p.m. - candidates will receive eight tickets each. Tickets will not be required for the College of Arts and Humanities ceremony.

"In order to comply with the Fire Marshal's Code of Safety and not to exceed the maximum seating capacity, it is necessary to limit the number of guests per prospective graduate," Howlett said.

- Victor Cabral
Howlett said family and guests are urged to arrive early to find good seating. Those who do not receive a ticket or arrive late to the ceremony (five minutes prior to the start of the ceremony) will be directed to an overflow area located in the Health and Physical Education II Building where they will view the ceremony from a live video feed.

Four speakers have confirmed to speak at graduation: Anna Escobedo Cabral, treasurer of the United States, 8:30 a.m.; Dr. Milagros "Millie" Mateu, university program manager at NASA, noon; Victor Cabral, senior counsel for NBC Universal/Telemundo, 3:30 p.m.; and Thomas H. Castro, president and CEO of Border Media Partners, 6:30 p.m.

Anna Escobedo Cabral was nominated on July 22, 2004, by President George W. Bush to serve as treasurer of the United States. The U.S. Senate confirmed her Nov. 20, 2004. Prior to taking this office, she served as director of the Smithsonian Institution's Center for Latino Initiatives, where she led a pan-institutional effort to improve Latino representation in exhibits, and public programming among the Institution's 19 museums, five research centers, and the National Zoo. A native of California, Anna Cabral majored in political science from the University of California, Davis, and earned a master's degree in public administration with an emphasis in international trade and finance from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Mateu serves as university program manager at NASA, where she oversees NASA's agency-wide Hispanic Education Program and the Mathematics and Science Teacher Achievement Program (MASTAP). She began her career in higher education administrating programs, first at Montclair State College and later at Seton Hall University. Her federal career spans 25 years and four federal agencies. Mateu holds a bachelor's degree from Inter American University; a master's of education from Teachers College, Columbia University, a master's in educational leadership, administration and policy from Fordham University; and a doctorate in education and human development from George Washington University.

- Thomas H. Castro
Victor Cabral serves as senior counsel for NBC Universal and Telemundo. He manages public policy and government relations for NBC Universal's interests throughout the Americas. In this position, Victor Cabral is responsible for coordinating NBC Universal's and Telemundo's government affairs. He also leads the public and external relations between national Hispanic organizations and NBC Universal. Prior to NBC Universal, he was vice president-Government Affairs for Verizon. Victor Cabral holds a master's degree from Harvard University and earned his bachelor's and Juris Doctor degrees at University of California, Davis.

Castro is a seasoned radio entrepreneur who bought his first station at age 25. Prior to founding Border Media Partners (BMP) in 2002, he owned and operated stations in Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Riverside/San Bernardino. Castro is the president and CEO of Houston-based BMP, which primarily targets Hispanic listeners and owns 34 radio stations in Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, McAllen/Brownsville, Laredo and Waco, and one television station in Laredo. A native of Los Angeles, Calif., Castro was educated at Harvard University, the University of Madrid in Spain, Center for Intercultural Documentation (CIDOC) in Cuernavaca, Mexico and Loyola Jesuit High School in Los Angeles. He is the first person in his family to attend college and received a scholarship to attend Harvard.

All graduates are asked to arrive one hour before their ceremony begins. Individuals with disabilities needing assistance or special accommodations in order to attend this event should contact Dela Howlett at 956/381-2389 or by e-mail at by Monday, May 9.