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950 Graduate in December Ceremonies

commencement scene
Johnson Coliseum was packed for two Saturday ceremonies

By Carole Snow/Staff Writer
The Huntsville Item

Sam Houston State University graduates are leaving with more than a piece of paper stating their worth to the working world.

Graduation speaker, Sen. Ken Armbrister (D-Victoria) said the 950 students who graduated on Saturday at Johnson Coliseum are getting their three Rs and core values.

Ken Armbrister, James F. Gaertner, Regent James Hayley
James F. Gaertner, SHSU president, visited with guest speaker Ken Armbrister, left, and regent James Hayley, prior to the morning ceremony.

Armbrister, who spoke during two graduation ceremonies on Saturday, said SHSU students are walking away with a sense of right and wrong.

"You know what is right about this country and it is obvious by Sept. 11 what is wrong about this country," said Armbrister.

Passing along more nuggets of wisdom, Armbrister joked, "many of you have found out how smart your parents got over the past three or four years. But, your parents really are your very best friends."

It was obvious that Armbrister was a proud alumni of SHSU.

Sounding much like a coach sending his team out for the game of the year he shouted, "Now get out there and make something happen Bearkats."

The first graduates acknowledged were the doctoral candidates. Upon receipt of their diplomas, the titles of their dissertations were stated. Masters recipients then followed.

Finally the undergraduate students were given their turn as four years came to a close.

At the 10 a.m. ceremony the first graduates to be recognized by standing were the school of Criminal Justice.

Friends and family members went wild. Despite rules asking audience members to hold their applause and "noises" until the end of the ceremony so that all the graduates names will be heard with distinction, nothing kept the crowd from showing their appreciation one at a time.

Officials said 997 students applied for graduation while 950 fulfilled the requirements of graduation of the Texas State University System and SHSU.

- END -

SHSU Media Contact: Frank Krystyniak
Dec. 9, 2001
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