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Alumnus To Give Summer Commencement Addresses

July 27, 2012
SHSU Media Contact: Jennifer Gauntt

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Ray BurgessSam Houston State University alumnus Ray Burgess, who has made a name for himself as a member of the university’s baseball team as an undergraduate and in the civil litigation field as a lawyer, will return to campus to address this summer’s approximate 965 graduates during two ceremonies on Aug. 4.

University president Dana Gibson will confer 591 bachelor’s degrees, 355 master’s degrees and 19 doctoral degrees at 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. in the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum.

The morning ceremony will include candidates from the Colleges of Business Administration, Criminal Justice, and Humanities and Social Sciences. The afternoon ceremony will include candidates from the Colleges of Education, Fine Arts and Mass Communication, and Sciences.

Burgess came to Sam Houston State University in 1971 as a high-school standout both academically and athletically at Arlington High School in Nebraska.

A four-year letterman in baseball, he continued this same path while at SHSU, winning the prestigious Gene Waldron award, a national award given yearly to a single junior athlete based upon athletic achievements and academic success. His pitching accomplishments are still recognized in five categories of SHSU baseball records.

Burgess graduated magna cum laude in 1975 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree before attending the University of Houston Law Center, where he received his juris doctorate in 1978.

Since graduation, Burgess has had a successful civil litigation practice, which in recent years he has transitioned into a thriving mediation practice.

He is a member of the State Bar of Texas, the Defense Research Institute, a charter member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, the Houston Bar Association, the Montgomery County Bar Association, and The Woodlands Bar Association.

Outside of his practice, Burgess frequently donates his time to a variety of local charitable, civic, and philanthropic organizations in Montgomery, Harris and Walker Counties; his volunteer efforts as an auctioneer has helped organizations raise millions of dollars.

An avid golfer and an active member of Willow Creek Golf Club—where he has served as a director and serves on the board of governors—he is also a staunch supporter of SHSU athletics, serving as president of the Kat Pack since 1997 and organizing fundraising activities for many of the SHSU athletics programs.

He was inducted into the SHSU Lettermen Association’s Bearkat Hall of Honor in 1999, was awarded the SHSU Alumni Association’s Service Award in 2003, and currently serves on the SHSU Alumni Association Board of Directors.

In addition, Burgess is active in The Woodlands United Methodist Church, where he serves on the administrative board and with prison ministries.

Residents of The Woodlands, he and his wife, LuAnn, have been married for 37 years and are the parents of one son, Reed.



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