Preparations Complete for Bush Commencement at A&M

KBTX News 3 is your home for complete coverage of President George Bush's visit to Texas A&M for commencement.

The president will land in Waco in Air Force One Friday morning, and then will take the Marine One helicopter to the A&M campus. As both these event happen, News 3 will be live on the air and online here at

News 3 will also carry the commencement event live on KBTX and

The following is a Texas A&M press release concerning the president's trip:

COLLEGE STATION, Dec. 11, 2008 – All tickets have been dispensed and plans finalized for the historic visit Friday (Dec. 12) by President George W. Bush as speaker for Texas A&M University’s inaugural Commencement Convocation, setting the stage for the institution’s three mid-year graduation exercises at Reed Arena.

Security measures will be in place for the 10:30 a.m. ceremony at which President Bush will speak, so all ticket holders are reminded they should plan to arrive early for entry via one of the two doors designated for access to Reed. All ticket holders must enter via either the north or east entrance, with access starting at 8 a.m. and ending at 10 a.m. Also, all vehicles in the area must be parked by 9:45 a.m.

University officials have announced that President Bush’s address also will be transmitted via closed-circuit television to Rudder Auditorium to accommodate students, faculty, staff and others who were unable to obtain tickets for the Commencement Convocation. Additionally, KAMU-TV will provide live telecasts of the President’s address.

The degree-granting ceremonies for the estimated 3,600 degree candidates are scheduled for 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday, with the Saturday morning ceremony also including commissioning for 49 members of the Corps of Cadets who will be entering one of the four branches of the armed forces.

Friday’s 2 p.m. graduation exercise will be for degree candidates in the College of Architecture, the Dwight Look College of Engineering, the College of Science and the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

The 7 p.m. ceremonies will be for degree candidates in the George Bush School of Government and Public Service, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the Mays Business School. Also during this ceremony Nikki Self, an English teacher at Cypress Woods High School in Houston, will be presented the Inspiration Award for Exceptional Secondary Education. Self was nominated for the award by her former student, Lauren Calvert, who will receive a master’s degree in marketing during that ceremony.

The 9 a.m. Saturday (Dec. 13) ceremonies will be for degree candidates in the College of Education and Human Development, the College of Geosciences and the College of Liberal Arts.

Commencement ceremonies for degree candidates from Texas A&M University at Galveston, who attended classes during the fall semester at College Station because of Hurricane Ike, are scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 14) at Moody Garden Convention Center in Galveston. However, the Galveston students will participate in the Commencement Convocation with the President.

Free parking will be available in the West Campus Garage, Parking Area 61, Parking Area 100 (sections a, b, c, I, j and k) and Parking Area 74, but access to the area will be open only until 9:45 a.m., with all traffic turned away after that time, Transportation Services officials noted.

Also Transportation Services representatives say all vehicles must be removed from Parking Area 97 by 6 a.m. Friday and that lot will be unavailable for parking until noon. Campus bus routes 01 and 05 will be temporarily affected because the stops around Reed Arena will be closed. Bus route 01 will be rerouted according to the map at and bus route 05 according to the map at Finally, drivers are advised to familiarize themselves with the maps indicating road closures and parking areas at and the exit traffic flow map at All parking, traffic and transit functions are expected to return to normal operations by 1 p.m.

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