SWT prepares for summer commencement

Date of release: 08/03/01

SAN MARCOS, TEXAS A Southwest Texas State University professor of English and the chair of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board will speak to this year’s summer graduates on Friday, Aug. 10, and Saturday, Aug. 11.

Michael Hennessy, recently named a 2001 Minnie Stevens Piper Professor by the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation in San Antonio, will address candidates from the Graduate College and the College of Liberal Arts at 7 p.m. Friday. There are 249 candidates for master’s or Ph.D. degrees and 235 candidates for undergraduate degrees in the College of Liberal Arts.

Hennessy is professor of English and director of lower-division studies in English at SWT. As director of SWT’s first-year writing program, Hennessy has trained dozens of graduate assistants. He was an Arthur Schmidt Fellow, has received two Merrick grants for curricular development and was twice elected chair of the Texas Association of Directors of Writing Programs.

Pamela Willeford is currently the chair of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and partner and president of Pico Drilling Co. in Breckenridge. She will address undergraduate candidates during both the 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. ceremonies on Saturday, Aug. 11.

A former teacher at public and private secondary schools in Dallas, Willeford has also served as director of development and Texas Capitol rededication coordinator for the State Preservation Board and producer of the yearly auction at KLRU public television. She is a founding member and serves on the executive committee for the Texas Book Festival. She is a founding member of the Center for Battered Women Advisory Council, a board member of the Bob Bullock Texas History Museum Foundation, a member of the Travis County Medical Alliance and serves on the development committee of the Performing Arts Center Development at UT-Austin.

The morning ceremony will host the Colleges of Education, Fine Arts & Communication, and Health Professions, with 304 candidates. The afternoon ceremony will feature the Colleges of Applied Arts, Business Administration, and Science, with 477 candidates for graduation.

Jennifer Walsh, a candidate from the College of Fine Arts and Communication, will offer student comments during the morning ceremony. Kendrah Smith, a candidate of the College of Science, will offer comments at the afternoon ceremony.