09:47 AM

Message from President Loren J. Blanchard: Announcing Speakers For UHD’s 72nd Commencement

UHD President Loren J. Blanchard

Dear UHD Community,

I want to offer my early best wishes to students graduating next month as well as to share details on the University of Houston-Downtown’s 72nd Commencement on Sunday, May 15, at NRG Stadium.

Our ceremonies will take place on a Sunday instead of our traditional Saturday date; however, I know the excitement for the event will be unparalleled. Our graduates will remember this upcoming moment because it serves as the capstone to their academic achievements, and we will welcome two exceptional speakers.

Texas Senator John Whitmire will address audiences during the noon ceremony, recognizing graduates from the College of Humanities & Social Sciences, the College of Sciences & Technology, and the College of Public Service. Senator Whitmire represents District 15 and was elected to the Texas Senate in 1982 after serving 10 years in the Texas House of Representatives. With more than 38 years of service in the Texas Senate, Senator Whitmire ranks first in seniority and is aptly nicknamed the “Dean of the Texas Senate.”

City of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner will join the 4 p.m. event, spotlighting the achievements of graduates from University College and the Marilyn Davies College of Business. Before his time as Houston’s mayor, Turner spent 27 years in the Texas House of Representatives serving District 139. As a Texas Representative, he worked on the House Appropriations Committee for 21 years and served as Speaker Pro Tempore for three years.

Both Mayor Turner and Senator Whitmire are longtime supporters of the University of Houston-Downtown and advocates for our region. I know both will impart inspirational words of wisdom to the graduates and all attendees.

As the special day draws closer, refer to the Commencement webpage for updates and additional information related to graduation exercises.

I look forward to seeing our students on the commencement stage and the rest of you cheering them on at NRG Stadium on May 15 for UHD’s 72nd Commencement!


Loren J. Blanchard, Ph.D.
President, University of Houston-Downtown