December Commencement Preview
With two weeks of school remaining, graduation is fast approaching. Commencement ceremonies will be held on Friday, Dec. 14 at the Abilene Convention Center on 1100 N. 6th Street. The 10 a.m. ceremony will feature the Cynthia Ann Parker College of Liberal Arts, Holland School of Sciences and Mathematics, Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing, and Logsdon School of Theology. The 2 p.m. ceremony will highlight the Kelley College of Business, College of Human Sciences and Educational Studies, and College of Fine Arts. Further graduation information can be found in HSU’s Graduation Guidebook.
Between the two ceremonies, there will be 134 undergraduates, 66 graduate students, and 29 doctorate students graduating. Distinguished by gold honor cords, five students will graduate cum laude, 13 magna cum laude, and 17 summa cum laude. Ten students will be recognized for graduating with a 4.0 average. After the ceremony, students and families are welcome to take pictures with the mock-up alumni plaque outside the Civic Center.
Dr. George Newman will give the charge to the graduates. Newman is chairman of the Board of Trustees Academic Committee and has served on the board since 1995. He served HSU as Professor of Biology and the school’s tennis coach from 1974 to 1979, while also finding time to announce basketball games and rodeos. During his tenure at HSU, Newman was twice selected as President of the Faculty, chosen as an Outstanding Educator in America and served as president of the Texas Ornithological Society.
Following a twenty-five year teaching career, George assumed the title of Professor Emeritus of Biology in 1992 and in 2002 was chosen as the Outstanding Former Faculty Member of the Year. He was also named to the Hall of Leaders in 2014. George and his wife Carolyn are long-time supporters of HSU. They have created multiple scholarships and endowments, including the HSU Grassland Initiative.
Newman has also served as County Judge for Taylor County. In this capacity, Judge Newman was twice honored statewide for his county enhancement initiatives by receiving the Best Practices Award bestowed by the Texas Association of Counties. In 2006 he was honored for his implementation of a televised system in facilitating mental health hearings, and in 2010 he was honored for his innovative jail diversion program. Judge Newman also served as a founding member of the Abilene/Taylor County Venue Tax Board and was instrumental in securing tax abatement agreements that attracted wind energy farms to Taylor County, as well as to surrounding counties.
George operated the 18,000-acre Bullhead Ranch from 1975 to 2000. He was elected to the Wylie Independent School District Board in 1985, serving five years as president. Additionally, he served for fourteen years on the Taylor County Expo Center board; two years as president.
To read Dr. Newman’s full biography, click here.