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Turner to speak at summer commencement

U.S. Congressman Jim Turner, elected in 1996 to represent the Second Congressional District of Texas, will be the commencement speaker at both summer graduation ceremonies at Sam Houston State University Aug. 10.

The registrar's office reports that 693 students have applied for degrees to be conferred at the ceremony at Johnson Coliseum. This includes 542 undergraduate degrees, 14 doctoral and 137 master's degrees.

The Colleges of Criminal Justice and Education and Applied Science are slated to confer degrees at the 10 a.m. ceremony, followed by the Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Business Administration at the 2 p.m. ceremony.

Before his election to Congress, Turner served for six years in the Texas Senate and four years in the Texas House. In the Senate, he was recognized as an outstanding legislator by a number of statewide organizations, including the Texas Association for the Education of Young Children and the Texas Youth Commission.

Turner served as chairman of the Texas Commission on Children and Youth and as a member of the Select Committee on Public Education. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in business and his law degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

Turner served in the United States Army, attaining the rank of captain. In his hometown of Crockett, he served as mayor and president of the Chamber of Commerce and has been a deacon and Sunday school teacher at the First Baptist Church of Crockett.

He and his wife, Ginny, have been married 31 years. They have a son, John, who practices law in Houston and a daughter, Susan, a law student at the University of Texas at Austin.

Turner is no stranger to the SHSU campus. He gave the commencement speech at both summer graduation ceremonies in 1999 and has participated in a number of special events on campus. In Congress, he has worked to provide appropriation support for several SHSU projects.

According to the registrar's office, 46 students will graduate with honors during the ceremony and 10 will graduate as members of Alpha Chi, the only honor society recognized by SHSU. James Gaertner, president of Sam Houston State University, will introduce Turner as the commencement speaker. David Payne, vice president for academic affairs, will recognize retiring theatre professor Thomas Soare for his contributions to the university. Gaertner will present the degrees.

Robert Dunning, SHSU registrar, advises that all degree candidates confirm their graduation status no later than 4 p.m., the Friday before commencement by either checking online, coming by the registrar's office in the Administration Building, or by calling 936.294.1032 between 9 a.m. and noon.

Candidates are advised to report to the Health/Kinesiology Center one hour before their ceremony is scheduled to begin, or in the event of inclement weather, report to the coliseum floor for seating.

Dunning also suggests that commencement ceremony guests with disabilities who may require special seating or assistance during the ceremony should arrive at least 45 minutes prior to the ceremony and enter through the east tunnel.

Two parking lots, one located east of the coliseum at the intersection of Avenue H and Bowers Blvd. and the other located in the Teacher Education Center parking lot, are reserved for guests with impairment. For more information related to commencement guests with disabilities, call 936.294.1061.

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SHSU Media Contact: Brandon Autrey
July 29, 2002
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