For the first time since 1992, The University of Texas-Pan American will offer an August graduation ceremony for students completing their degree during the summer.
Graduation is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 19 and is set to include two ceremonies, one at 9 a.m. and the second at noon. Blinda Torres, assistant to the vice president in the Division of Academic Affairs, said the summer graduation will not be any different from the fall and spring ceremonies, and the Office of the Registrar is estimating about 500 prospective graduates.
"Our efforts will be to maintain the same level of professionalism, decorum and traditions as the other ceremonies," Torres said.
The University is not alone in having an August graduation. Currently, more than half of UT System schools hold August ceremonies. Torres said the decision to have an August graduation ceremony at UTPA was based on the increasing number of graduates.
"We simply can't accommodate the graduates and their guests in the facility we now use for the ceremonies," Torres said.
In the past, students who were scheduled to complete their coursework in the summer had the option to walk in the May ceremony prior to completing their classes. Though students were allowed to do this, policy has always stated that students are to complete required curriculum prior to graduating. Torres said the University has not been strict in applying the policy in the past because they wanted to afford the students that flexibility.
However, Torres said exceptions are being made this semester only for students who had planned to graduate in the May ceremony and lack a maximum of six hours. After the May (2006) graduation ceremony, only students who are in their final semester and complete their requirements will be allowed to participate in the ceremonies.
For questions regarding graduation, call Cindy Blanco, assistant registrar at 956/381-2734 or Rolinda Park, director of graduate studies at 956/381-3661.