The “Dean of the Texas Senate” and a Distinguished Alumnus of Sam Houston State University who currently serves as a member of The Texas State University System Board of Regents will be speakers for the university’s commencement exercises Dec. 19 and 20 in Johnson Coliseum.
Sen. John Whitmire who represents the 15th Senatorial District (north Houston and north Harris County) will speak at Dec. 20 ceremonies for the Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Humanities and Social Sciences at 10 a.m. and Criminal Justice and Education at 2 p.m.
Charlie Amato, chairman and co-founder of Southwest Business Corporation headquartered in San Antonio, will speak at the College of Business Administration ceremony at 6 p.m. on Dec. 19.
Approximately 1,580 students are candidates for graduation.
Whitmire was first elected to the Texas Senate in 1982 after serving 10 years in the Texas House of Representatives. He is the chair of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee and serves as a member of the government organization, the finance, and the administration committees of the Senate.
He is also a member of the Legislative Budget Board and was appointed to serve on the Criminal Justice Legislative Oversight Committee and the Joint Committee on the Operation and Management of the Texas Youth Commission.
Whitmire holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Houston and attended the Bates College of Law. He was admitted to the Texas State Bar in 1981 and is attorney of counsel to the law firm Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell LLP.
He has two daughters, Whitney and Sarah.
Amato was named Distinguished Alumnus of SHSU in 2000 and was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to The Texas State University System Board of Regents in 2007.
With more than 30 years of experience in all aspects of insurance operations, underwriting, and product development, Amato has been recognized in the business community for his innovative, relationship-building approach.
He currently serves as chairman of the University of the Incarnate Word Board of Trustees and the Lone Star Capital Bank Advisory Board and is a member and past chairman of numerous boards for charities and community leadership organizations.
Amato has been inducted into the SHSU College of Business Hall of Honor and the San Antonio Business Hall of Fame.
He is a recipient of the San Antonio Brotherhood Humanitarian Award, the Arthritis Foundation Humanitarian of the Year Award, and the Department of Army Commander’s Award for Public Service Medal.
Amato earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from SHSU. He and his wife, Cathy, are the parents of two children, Marcus and Allison.
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