SAN MARCOS, TEXAS — A U.S. senator, the chair of the Board of Regents of the Texas State University System (TSUS) and a professor emerita of SWT will deliver the addresses at three separate winter commencement ceremonies at Southwest Texas State University.
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison will address graduates from the Schools of Applied Arts and Technology, Business, Health Professions and Science at 2 p.m. Dec. 19. Craig Vittitoe, chair of the TSUS Board of Regents, will address graduates from the Schools of Education, Liberal Arts and Fine Arts and Communication at 9:30 a.m. the same day. Both ceremonies will take place in Strahan Coliseum.
A native of La Marque, Hutchison graduated from the University of Texas and UT Law School. She was twice elected to the Texas House of Representatives. In 1990 she was elected Texas state treasurer, where she trimmed her agency‘s budget while increasing returns on Texas investments to a historic $1 billion annually. As the first woman to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate, Hutchison has been responsible for the passage of several important federal laws, most notably the federal anti-stalking bill and the homemaker IRA legislation, which significantly expanded retirement opportunities for stay-at-home spouses.
A 1973 graduate of SWT, Vittitoe has strong ties to his alma mater. A former president of the Alumni Association, he was sworn in as a member of the TSUS Board of Regents in 1991. In 1996 he served a term as vice chair of the board and is now completing his term as chair. During his service on the board, the system has doubled its number of institutions and has increased by 33 percent the number of students it serves. After graduating from the South Texas College of Law in 1977, he served as an assistant attorney general for the State of Texas for three years. Since 1980, he has been in the private practice of law in South Texas. He is currently a senior partner in the firm of Adams and Graham in the Rio Grande Valley.
The student commencement speakers for the undergraduate ceremonies are Linda Lane of New Braunfels and Monica Netardus of Halletsville. Lane is majoring in recreational administration and will speak at the morning ceremony. Netardus is a criminal justice major and will deliver the address at the afternoon ceremony. There are 1,342 students who are candidates for bachelor‘s degrees this winter.
Luan Brunson, professor emerita, will deliver the commencement address for the Graduate School at 7 p.m. on Dec. 18 in Strahan Coliseum. A member of the faculty since 1967, Brunson now enjoys phased retirement, which allows her time for travel, research and writing. She served SWT as associate dean of the School of Liberal Arts from 1984 to 1998 and was chair of the English Department from 1972 to 1983, the first woman to chair a large department at SWT. During her 14-year tenure as associate dean, she supervised the development of a school student advising system and the Liberal Arts Student Advisory Council. There are 287 candidates for master‘s degrees this winter.