White House Leader
Mickey Ibarra, the son of a Mexican migrant worker and now one of the most powerful Hispanics in the United States, will speak at Sam Houston State University's summer commencement exercises at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday (Aug. 12).
Is Commencement Speaker
Ibarra is assistant to the president of the United States and director of intergovernmental affairs.
Some 652 students have applied for degrees, with the total completing all requirements and actually receiving degrees expected to push the number of graduates in December, May and August ceremonies to approximately 2,400, a Sam Houston State record for a single academic year.
A native of Salt Lake City, Ibarra taught for five years in the Utah public schools. He then represented the nation's educators for 16 years with state and national education associations.
Prior to his White House appointment, Ibarra was the political manager for the National Education Association, where he was responsible for campaign strategy, federal candidate support, political advocacy, and state government affairs.
As a longtime Democratic activist, Ibarra served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee Hispanic Caucus and as an executive committee member. During the 1996 presidential campaign, he was a senior campaign adviser and director of special projects for the Clinton-Gore '96 campaign, as well as senior adviser to the chief executive officer and director of VIP volunteers and troubleshooters for the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
In announcing Ibarra's appointment, President Clinton said, "I am delighted that Mickey has agreed to join our White House staff. His strong commitment to excellence and teamwork will be a model for others to follow. In addition, his understanding and appreciation of the important role of local and state officials will serve the nation well."
During his White House service Ibarra has practiced a policy of inclusion and consultation, fostering cooperation with local and state officials vital to building support for the president's initiatives.
This strategy was formalized when the president signed an executive order entitled "Federalism," that strengthened the partnership between the administration and state and local governments.
President Clinton appointed Ibarra to serve as a vice chair of the White House task force on the Salt Lake Olympic Games, an interagency effort to coordinate the extensive federal activities underway to ensure the success of the 2002 Winter Games.
In 1997, Ibarra was selected by "Hispanic Magazine" as one of the "25 most powerful Hispanics in Washington, D. C."
Ibarra served in the United States Army from 1970 to 1973. He and his wife, Frances, live in Bethesda, Md. They have a daughter, Lina Marie, who is a sophomore at Northern Arizona University.
Summer commencement ceremonies will be held in the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum. Ceremonies for the Colleges of Education and Applied Science and Criminal Justice are scheduled at 10 a.m. and the Colleges of Business Administration and Arts and Sciences at 2 p.m.
In addition to the awarding of bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees, eight retiring faculty members will be recognized. They are Joel Bass (education), Dwight Brown (geology), Ed Davis (political science), Betty Dunlap (radio/television), Margaret Farnworth (criminal justice), David Moorman, agriculture, Darryl Patrick (art) and Jaspyr Sanford (Newton Gresham Library).
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Aug. 4, 2000
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