Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Spring Commencement May 16

KINGSVILLE - May 06, 2009

Contact: Julie Navejar
julie.navejar@tamuk.edu or 361.593.2590

More than 500 prospective graduates are ready to cross the stage to receive their degrees during two commencement ceremonies to be held at the Steinke Physical Education Center at Texas A&M University-Kingsville Saturday, May 16.

At the 11 a.m. ceremony, graduates from the Dick and Mary Lewis Kleberg College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences and the colleges of Arts and Sciences and Business Administration will receive their degrees. The Colleges of Education, the Frank H. Dotterweich College of Engineering and University College will confer degrees at the 2:30 p.m. ceremony.

Stephen  J. “Tio” Kleberg will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. The keynote speaker is Michael D. McKinney, M.D., chancellor of The Texas A&M University System.

Two ROTC cadets will be commissioned as Second Lieutenants in the United States Army. Cody Alan Holder and Sumalindinie Ricomora Serion will be honored during the 11 a.m. ceremony.

Gabriel Geyne, president of the Student Government Association, will present the Distinguished Student Awards.

Marisa Martinez-Chapa, president of the Javelina Alumni Association, will present the official university ring to one graduate, funded by the association. Selection from the applicants is based on leadership, campus and community service, letter of recommendation, challenges while in school and honors and awards.

About Michael D. McKinney, M.D.

McKinney was named chancellor of The Texas A&M University System on Nov. 22, 2006. A family physician, he came to the A&M System from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, where he had served as senior executive vice president and chief operating officer since September 2003. He had served in leadership positions at the UT System since 2002, including vice chancellor for health affairs at the UT System administrative offices in Austin and acting dean of the UT Medical School in Houston.

During 2001 and 2002, Dr. McKinney served as chief of staff to Gov. Rick Perry. From 1995 to 1998, during former Gov. George W. Bush’s first term, he was Texas commissioner of health and human services. From 1984 to 1991, he represented Leon, Madison, Grimes, Houston and Montgomery Counties in the Texas House of Representatives. He was speaker pro-tempore of the House from 1989 to 1990.

His many honors and achievements include receiving the Physician’s Recognition Award from the American Medical Association in 2006 and the Presidential Award of Merit for Exemplary Service from the Texas Academy of Family Practice. As a state representative, he was recognized as one of the 10 best legislators by both Texas Monthly and The Dallas Morning News, and as an outstanding legislator by the Texas Medical Association and the Texas Department of Commerce.

About Stephen J. “Tio” Kleberg

Kleberg is a member of the King Ranch Board of Directors. As a member of the legendary King Ranch family, he developed a love for the land and natural resources of the South Texas region.

Ever the civic servant, he has been a Trustee of the Caesar Kleberg Foundation for Wildlife Conservation for approximately 30 years. In addition, he serves on the Texas A&M University-Kingsville Foundation, Inc. Board of Trustees and the Advisory Board of the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, one of the university’s premier research entities and one that he helped establish in 1981.

His dedication to Texas A&M-Kingsville has extended over three decades and most recently manifested itself when he and his wife, Janell, co-chaired the university’s first comprehensive capital campaign from 2005-2008. They also were instrumental in securing funds to construct a wildlife research park at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, which was subsequently named in their honor.

His service extends well beyond the university and beyond South Texas. He has been a Director and President of the American Quarter Horse Association and has served on the boards of the Boy Scouts of America, the National Cutting Horse Association and the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. He also has served as Director of several banks, including Alice National Bank, Kleberg First National Bank and Texas Commerce Bank.

He has received numerous awards and honors in recognition of his record of service to the state of Texas and to its conservation efforts. In 1999, the Texas State Legislature honored him for a lifetime of business and civic service to the state. He was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Association Hall of Fame in 1997 and was named one of the Heroes for Kids by the Texas State Board of Education in 1999. Texas Tech has named him a Distinguished Alumnus in several categories, including the award from the Ex-student Association, the School of Agriculture and the Phi Delta Theta International Fraternity.

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