Congratulations, Class of 2023!
By Laura Wagner
More than 1,400 graduating Gators crossed the stage at the 74th Commencement Ceremonies at NRG May 20 while family, friends, and dignitaries watched the joyous occasion.
Two extraordinary guest speakers provided the addresses: Dr. Mildred García, President of American Association of State Colleges and Universities, spoke at the first ceremony at 11 a.m., and Gerald W. McElvy, former President of the ExxonMobil Foundation and former Vice Chairman of the University of Houston System Board of Regents, shared his wisdom at the 4 p.m. ceremony.
Student speakers weighed in as well. Graduating senior Luis Jimenez (BBA Finance and BBA Accounting), Marilyn Davies College of Business, spoke at the morning event, while Brandon Jenkins (BA Education, Early Childhood-Sixth Grade Core Subjects with ESL Supplemental), College of Public Service, spoke at the afternoon ceremony.
Spirits were high at both events as the reality of their accomplishments sank in for the graduates and supporters cheered them on from the stands. President Blanchard captured both the joy and the solemnity of the occasion, saying, “I am so proud that you are ready for the competitive workforce, ready to pursue advanced degrees, ready to engage the broader challenges of our society. … Just as our university is on the rise, so are you. I applaud you for reaching this milestone in your life. Today’s success is one of many future successes made possible by the opportunities now open to you as a UHD graduate.”
Congratulations to all our Gator Grads—we could not be more proud! Now go forth into the world and continue what you started here. There’s work to be done—and you’re just the Gators to do it.
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates more than 15,000 students, boasts more than 64,000 alumni, and offers 46 bachelor’s degrees, 11 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities & Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences & Technology. For the fourth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report ranks UHD among universities across the nation for Best Online Criminal Justice Programs (No. 27 and No. 15 for Veterans) and Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. UHD has the most affordable tuition among four-year universities in Houston and one of the lowest in Texas. U.S. News ranked the University among Top Performers on Social Mobility and awarded UHD a No. 1 ranking as the most diverse institution of higher education in the southern region of the U.S. The University is noted nationally as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, Minority-Serving Institution, and Military Friendly School. For more on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit www.uhd.edu.