Sam Houston State University Commencement

Spring 2022 Commencement Schedule

Spring 2022 Graduation Ceremonies are scheduled for May 12, May 13, and May 14 at the Sam Houston State University Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum. The complete schedule is posted below.

2:30 PM, Thursday, May 12, 2022

  • College of Arts & Media
  • College of Business Administration

9:30 AM, Friday, May 13, 2022

  • College of Criminal Justice

2:30 PM, Friday, May 13, 2022

  • College of Humanities & Social Sciences

9:30 AM, Saturday, May 14, 2022

  • College of Sciences & Engineering Technology
  • College of Health Sciences (Except Nursing)

2:30 PM, Saturday, May 14, 2022

  • College of Education
  • School of Nursing

Important Information & FAQs

Commencement Livestreams

Thursday, 2:30 p.m.

Friday, 9:30 a.m.

Friday, 2:30 p.m.

Saturday, 9:30 a.m.

Saturday, 2:30 p.m.

Commencement Speakers

Sam Houston State University welcomes three notable keynote speakers for the Spring 2022 commencement ceremonies on May 12-14 at Johnson Coliseum. Mac Woodward, Harrison Keller and Donna Williams will address over 2,500 students who have applied for degrees to be awarded.

Mac Woodward

Mac Woodward

On May 12, Mac Woodward will address students from the College of Arts & Media and College of Business Administration at 2:30 p.m.

Woodward served as director of the Sam Houston Memorial Museum for 27 years. Devoted to public service, Woodward was also a City Council member and elected Mayor of Huntsville in 2011. A fellow Bearkat (’70), Woodward served as project manager on the restoration of three historical cabins on the museum grounds. He also helped initiate the creation of the Sam Houston Republic of Texas Presidential Library to be a clearing house for information and artifacts on the life of Sam Houston.

Harrison Keller

Harrison Keller

On May 13, Harrison Keller will address students from the College of Criminal Justice at 9:30 a.m. and College of Humanities & Social Sciences at 2:30 p.m.

Keller serves as the sixth Commissioner of Higher Education and chief executive officer for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. He is a recognized innovator in policy and programs to improve college readiness and student success, especially for low-income and first-generation students. He is the founder and was principal investigator of the OnRamps dual enrollment initiative that provides college-level courses to high school students across the state.

Donna Williams

Donna Williams

On May 14, Donna Williams will address students from the College of Sciences & Engineering Technology and College of Health Sciences (except Nursing) at 9:30 a.m. and College of Education and School of Nursing at 2:30 p.m.

Williams is vice president and program manager for Parsons Transportation Group, Inc. where she manages two program management support contracts, valued over $96 million dollars, with the City of Houston in support of the Houston Airport System. She has served on Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board since 2018, and is currently vice chair. She was a member of the Texas State University System Board of Regents and served as chair for two terms.

Commencement Spotlights

Sam Houston State University graduates have made remarkable strides in their lives to reach commencement day. Here are a few examples of Bearkats graduates, who have demonstrated a “can-do” spirit through challenges and service, and remind us of the many ways Sam Houston State is preparing students for meaningful lives of achievement.

Joshua Rachita

Joshua Rachita

Sam Houston State University history major, Joshua Rachita, enjoys helping preserve American history. Rachita worked at the Sam Houston Memorial Museum for almost four years, where he gives historical demonstrations as a blacksmith.

Spotlight on Joshua

Deirdre Holloway

Deirdre Holloway

When Deirdre Holloway isn’t helping others pursue their educational dreams, she works on continuing hers. While earning her doctoral degree she has also served as director of student affairs in Fort Bend ISD, where she still works today.

Spotlight on Deirdre

Justina E. Benson

Justina E. Benson

Justina Benson graduated from high school in Nigeria at age 15 before moving to the US to join her family, who had previously left. Starting over in a new country while also beginning college was intimidating.

Spotlight on Justina

Brandon Fierro

Brandon Fierro

A first-generation student, Brandon Fierro was raised by a single mom in Carlsbad, New Mexico. With the help of his mother, Fierro decided what to study and what other passions to follow.

Spotlight on Brandon

Y Luong

Y Luong

Studying abroad can be tricky due to the language barrier. When Y Luong joined the Sam Houston State University community as an international student from Vietnam, hardships during the pandemic made her experience even more challenging. With support from the campus community, she was able to still pursue her academic and career dreams.

Spotlight on Y Luong

David Jimenez Gomez Jr.

David Jimenez Gomez Jr.

In a span of 2.5 years at Sam Houston State, David Gomez will graduate early this May and plans to continue his path in graduate school next.

Spotlight on David

Annette Gutierrez

Annette Gutierrez

An accounting graduate student at Sam Houston State University, Annette Gutierrez plans to give back to the community that gave so much to her when she needed it. After graduating this semester, Gutierrez will begin her career in Houston, Texas as an audit staff at Ernst & Young.

Spotlight on Annette

Commencement Program

Commencement Program (PDF)

Important Information

Coliseum Clear Bag Policy

There is a clear bag policy in place at the Johnson Coliseum (clear bag no larger than 12x12x6 or purse no larger than 4.5x6.5) and there will be a security bag check prior to entering.

List of Prohibited Items

  • Umbrellas
  • Outside Food and Drinks
  • Airhorns
  • Large Bags
  • Strollers
  • Tripods

Commencement Etiquette

  • Commencement is a ceremonious occasion honoring important educational accomplishments. Decorum and courtesy are important to you and your family, as well as your fellow degree candidates and their families. Students and guests are expected to maintain a measure of decorum consonant with the occasion.
  • Out of respect for all degree candidates, once seated, all participants are expected to stay until the conclusion of the ceremony which is marked by the candidate recessional.
  • Adherence to the university’s alcohol policy is expected.
  • Improper attire, signs and insignia will be monitored and may be removed.
  • Cell phones and other electronic equipment should be silenced.
  • All candidates should plan to meet their guests outside Johnson Coliseum following the ceremony. Guests are not allowed on the arena floor or the stage and will be asked to exit the coliseum quickly to meet your graduate.


  • Students are expected to wear appropriate clothing beneath their regalia.
  • Students and guests are expected to refrain from disruptive behavior.
  • Students are expected to return to their seats after the on-stage presentation and remain seated for the duration of the ceremony.
  • Sam Houston State University maintains the proud and historic tradition of permitting degree candidates to shake hands with the President as their name is spoken. However, graduates should not feel compelled to shake hands if they are uncomfortable doing so.


  • Family members and/or guests are not permitted on the arena floor.
  • The last degree candidate is equally as important as the first, so please be considerate.
  • We ask that all guests remain seated for the entire ceremony.

Spring 2022 FAQs

Celebrate using #SHSU22: