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Nearly 1,400 Gator Grads to Earn Degrees During UHD’s 69th Commencement Ceremony

The stars are in alignment for a perfect celebration of academic achievement and resilience in the face of adversity.

Nearly 1,400 graduates will complete a major chapter in their lives when they earn their degrees during the University of Houston-Downtown's 69th Commencement Ceremony. The virtual event will be conducted at 1 p.m., May 15 on the UHD Facebook page and YouTube.

And the stars will indeed come out for this event. Award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien will serve as this year’s featured speaker. O’Brien has served as a reporter and producer for CNN, PBS, NBC, HBO and other networks, covering world events and interviewing global leaders. Now, she will be present for another transformative moment … the conferral of degrees upon UHD graduates.

The real stars of this event, however, are those Gators who rose to the occasion in spite of a pandemic. Among those graduating are Linda Boggs, who at 69 years of age will complete her Master of Business Administration from UHD’s Marilyn Davies College of Business. This year’s youngest graduate is Chinaecherem Eze, who will graduate at age 19 with a Bachelor of Science in Data Science.

Boggs, Eze and all of UHD’s graduates will have their names will be announced during the ceremony accompanied by images they submitted. National higher education communications firm Full Measure is providing support for this event.

UHD’s Mariachi Los Caimanes also will be on hand to deliver a rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner,” and UHD President Loren J. Blanchard will make his first address to graduates since arriving at UHD in March. In addition, Mariey Garcia, who is earning her Bachelor of Arts in English, will premiere a poem dedicated to the Class of 2021. Distinguished alumnus Marcus Bowers, CEO of She’s Happy Hair, also will share remarks from the UHD Alumni Association.

UH System Chancellor Renu Khator and UH System Regent Jack Moore also will offer congratulations to graduates.

All content from the ceremony will be available for viewing after the event. For additional information on Commencement, please visit the Commencement website.

All Spring 2021 graduates and those who graduated during Spring, Summer and Fall 2020 will be invited to an in-person event in August that will be announced soon.


About the University of Houston-Downtown

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 approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.