Lamar confers 1655 degrees; Bill Macatee speaker
Lamar University conferred 1655 degrees at spring commencement May 17 in the Montagne Center. LU alumnus and professional sports broadcaster, Bill Macatee, was the keynote speaker. The ceremonies began at 9:30 a.m. for the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business and Engineering, and at 1:30 p.m. for the Colleges of Education and Human Development and Fine Arts and Communication.
Graduates hail from 20 countries, 26 states outside Texas and 293 cities and towns in Texas. Lamar awarded the 1655 degrees to 1638 graduation candidates – 46 for doctorates; 790 for master’s degrees, 799 for bachelor’s degrees and 20 for associate degrees. Doctorates include 39 in educational leadership, seven doctor of audiology, five doctor of engineering and four doctor of education in deaf studies and deaf education.
Fifteen students will earn two bachelor’s degrees; two will earn both a Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting and Master of Science in accounting. The master’s candidates include 630 students who will earn degrees in education as part of Lamar’s online education program.
As Lamar University completes its first year under the leadership of President Kenneth Evans, LU alumnus and professional sports broadcaster, Bill Macatee delivered the commencement address. Macatee earned a Bachelor of Science degree in speech from Lamar University in 1978 and is a member of Delta Tau Delta International Fraternity. He was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus in 2011 and serves on the Board of Advisors for the Lamar University College of Fine Arts and Communication. He began his broadcasting career while still attending Lamar with the local ABC network, KBMT-TV, as sports director. After stints in Kansas and Dallas, he moved to New York City to join NBC Sports.
Macatee is a prominent, network sports broadcaster who has anchored network coverage of the Olympics, covered 24 Masters golf tournaments, 24 US Open Tennis Championships and has called 16 years of NFL play-by-play for CBS Sports.
During his career, Macatee has broadcast some of the world’s biggest events in golf and tennis. In addition to The Masters, he anchored opening day coverage of every Ryder Cup played from 1991 to 2006 and, among his play-by-play and hosting duties for CBS at the PGA Championship, Macatee also handles the presentation of the Wannamaker Trophy to the winner, which he has done for the last 15 years.
In tennis, Macatee is a significant presence at all four Grand Slam Championship events. In addition to his lead play-by-play roles at the US Open, where he has called eight Singles Finals for CBS and the Australian Open for Tennis Channel, Macatee’s insightful interviews on French Open Tonight and Wimbledon Primetime have become a fixture of Tennis Channel’s coverage from Roland Garros and the All-England Club.
Throughout his career, Macatee has shown himself to be one of the most versatile broadcasters in network sports, anchoring and hosting everything from basketball’s March Madness to the NCAA Track and Field Championships, The World Professional Figure Skating Championships, gymnastics, boxing and even sumo wrestling from Japan.
Outside of sports play-by-play, Macatee served as the sports correspondent for the Today Show for NBC News, as well as anchoring the syndicated program, USA Today on TV.
While continuing his career as a network broadcaster, Macatee also works as a senior advisor to the Vistria Group, a mid-market, private equity firm based in Chicago. Macatee spent two years as an adjunct faculty member at Chapman University in Southern California teaching sports media at the school’s prestigious Dodge College of Film & Media Arts.
President Evans presented Plummer Awards, recognizing the top academic graduates. Students graduating summa cum laude, magna cum laude and cum laude with bachelor’s degrees were also recognized as they accepted their diplomas. Steve Doblin, provost and vice president for academic affairs, introduced Bill Macatee as speaker and certified degree candidates.
The ceremony began as Barbara Hernandez, professor of health and kinesiology and president of the Faculty Senate, led the academic processional. Paul Hemenway, professor of communication, and Victoria Price, professor of modern languages, presented the graduates for the ceremony.
The Lamar Wind Ensemble, conducted by Scott Deppe, director of bands, performed the processional, recessional and musical prelude. Serdar Ilban, assistant professor of music, led in singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” and Lamar Alma Mater.