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LU to confer 800 degrees in Aug. 22 Commencement

Lamar University will confer 800 degrees at summer commencement August 22 in the Montagne Center.  Texas State University System Chancellor Brian McCall will be the keynote speaker.  The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m.

Chancellor Brian McCallGraduates hail from 10 countries, 22 states outside Texas and 221 cities and towns in Texas. Lamar will award 800 degrees to 799 graduation candidates – 15 for doctorates; 516 for master’s degrees, 266 for bachelor’s degrees. Doctorates include 15 in educational leadership, one doctor of engineering and two doctor of chemical engineering.

One student will earn two bachelor’s degrees—a bachelor of arts in theatre and a bachelor of science in communication.

The master’s candidates include 379 students who will earn degrees in education as part of Lamar’s online education program.

Brian McCall, Ph.D., is chancellor of the Texas State University System, the first university system established in Texas, comprising eight institutions with more than 81,000 students and 15,000 faculty and staff.

McCall previously served in the Texas House of Representatives, first elected in 1991 to represent the areas of North Dallas, Frisco, Allen, and Plano. As a representative, he served as chairman of the House Calendars Committee and as a member of the Higher Education Committee. Texas Monthly named McCall one of the "10 Best" legislators of the 2009 session.

McCall wrote and passed one of the largest tax-cut bills in the history of Texas and during his last session secured $5 million in funding for The University of Texas at Dallas' Center for Values and Medicine. Other legislative accomplishments include authoring and passing key bills in the areas of health care, biotechnology, high technology, identity theft, and tax and budget policy.

McCall serves on the board of Legacy Texas Financial Group and as chairman of Texas' Council of Public University Presidents and Chancellors, a position to which he was elected by the state's 38 public university presidents and six chancellors.

McCall was president of Westminster Capital Corp., an investment firm focused on acquisitions primarily in software and technology. He and his brother, David, operate Snow Hill Farm north of Dallas.

McCall holds a bachelor’s degree from Baylor University, a master’s degree from Southern Methodist University, spent a year as a visiting post-graduate student at Oxford University, and earned a doctor of philosophy degree from The University of Texas at Dallas.

McCall is the author of The Power of the Texas Governor: Connally to Bush, published by University of Texas Press, which examines how various governors have overcome the institutional limitations of the office to achieve significant political power.

A long-time civic and community volunteer, McCall is founder and chairman of the board of The Empowerment Project, a non-profit organization which has sent more than $10 million worth of math and science books to disadvantaged schools in the Republic of South Africa, and helped construct a library in Vietnam through the Libraries of Love organization. The Empowerment Project also raised more than $350,000 to provide direct support for the medical needs of children in north Texas.

McCall is the recipient of the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award from The University of Texas at Dallas, is a member is The Philosophical Society of Texas, and serves on the Board of Directors of ZACH Theater in Austin.

President Evans will present Plummer awards, recognizing the top academic graduates. Students graduating summa cum laude, magna cum laude and cum laude with bachelor’s degrees will also be recognized as they accept their diplomas. Dr. James Marquart, provost and vice president for academic affairs, will introduce McCall as speaker and certify degree candidates.

The ceremony will begin as Dr. Lulu Henry, assistant professor, teacher education and president of the Faculty Senate, leads the academic processional. Dr. Paul Hemenway, professor of communication, and Dr. R. J. Davis, assistant professor of counseling and special populations, will present the graduates for the ceremony.

The Lamar Brass Ensemble, conducted by Scott Deppe, director of bands, will perform the processional, recessional and musical prelude. Debra Greschner, instructor of music, will lead in singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” and Lamar Alma Mater.