Today@Sam Article

Three To Speak At SHSU's Five Spring Graduation Ceremonies

April 13, 2016
SHSU Media Contact: Jennifer Gauntt

Sam Houston State University will inaugurate its first commencement season featuring three ceremonies with three speakers whose work has had an impact on the city, region and state.

Texas Department of Criminal Justice executive director Brad Livingston, State Rep. Will Metcalf and retired chief accounting officer for CenterPoint Energy Walter Fitzgerald will address SHSU’s more than 2,100 degree candidates during graduation ceremonies May 5-7.

Brad Livingston
State Rep. Will Metcalf
Walter Fitzgerald
From top: TDCJ executive director Brad Livingston, State Rep. Will Metcalf and retired CenterPoint Energy chief accounting officer Walter Fitzgerald. 

Livingston will speak to Thursday night graduates during the 7 p.m. ceremony from the College of Criminal Justice; Metcalf will speak to Friday’s graduates during the 9:30 a.m. ceremony for the College of Education and the 2:30 p.m. ceremony for the Colleges of Humanities and Social Sciences and Health Sciences; and Fitzgerald will speak to Saturday graduates during the 9:30 a.m. ceremony for the College of Business Administration and the 2:30 p.m. ceremony for the Colleges of Sciences and Fine Arts and Mass Communication.

All five ceremonies will be in the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum.

Livingston has served as the TDCJ executive director since November 2004, overseeing the operations of one of the largest governmental entities of its kind, with approximately 38,000 employees statewide. 

For his work in this capacity, he has been recognized four times, including in 2015, with the Texas Public Employees Association’s “Agency Administrator of the Year” award and with the American Correctional Association’s 2015 “E. R. Cass” award. He previously was recognized with the Association of State Correctional Administrators’ “Michael Francke” award.

Since joining TDCJ in October 1997, he has served as deputy director of the financial services division, chief financial officer and interim executive director. He previously served in former Texas Gov. George Bush’s administration, in the Office of Budget and Planning, and worked for the Legislative Budget Board.

Livingston holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Metropolitan State University of Denver and a Master of Public Affairs degree from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

An SHSU alumnus, Metcalf is a sixth generation resident of Montgomery County and an accomplished business leader who represents Texas House District 16.

Working his way through the local banking industry, Metcalf currently serves as vice president and director of business development at Spirit of Texas Bank, where he assists in leading the bank's commercial lending division.

As a state representative, Metcalf focuses on bringing a new generation of conservative leadership to the state legislature through service on committees for homeland security and public safety and economic and small business development, as well as on the sub-committee on small business.

For his work, he has been named a “Fighter for Free Enterprise” by the Texas Association, a “Courageous Conservative” by the Texas Conservative Coalition, a “Pro-Property Rights Champion” by Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom, a “Texas Gold Star Representative” from Texas Right to Life, and a “Faith and Family Champion” from Texas Values.

Metcalf is active in the development of the north Montgomery County area as well—through involvement in the real estate market, where he manages investments in Montgomery County and the surrounding areas—and is an active member of the community.

A second-generation Bearkat, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice; parents Tommy and Mary Ann Metcalf are 1971 and 1972 alumni, respectively. He and wife Megan have been married for eight years and have 4-year-old twin daughters, Amelia and Elizabeth.

Fitzgerald graduated from SHSU with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting in 1979 and was inducted into the SHSU College of Business Administration Hall of Honor in 2011. 

He recently retired from CenterPoint Energy, where he was the chief accounting officer who was responsible for accounting, tax and risk management.  Prior to joining CenterPoint in 2001, he worked for the Dow Chemical Company for 22 years in several financial executive positions.

He also has been an active supporter of SHSU, serving as a member of the SHSU President’s Circle, the College of Business Advisory Board and the SHSU Alumni Board of Directors. In 2007, he and his wife, Jan, established an endowed scholarship to help first-generation students majoring in accounting.

He has served on numerous civic and charitable boards and is an avid marathon runner.

Fitzgerald and Jan reside in the Woodlands and have four children: Melissa, 32; Maegan, 30, who also is an SHSU alumna; Matthew, 25; and Michael, 23. 

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