Texas A&M University Interim President Mark Hussey today announced Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples will serve as the keynote speaker during Texas A&M’s spring commencement convocation. Commissioner Staples is a 1984 agricultural economics graduate of Texas A&M University who now oversees the state’s $100 billion agricultural industry.
“It’s a true honor to speak to the Fighting Texas Aggie Class of 2014,” Commissioner Staples said. “Aggies are leaders, innovators and visionaries. These graduates are entering a challenging workforce armed with a great education and a desire to work hard. I am excited to see the impact these future leaders will have on the Lone Star State.”
The commencement convocation will take place on May 8 at 5:30 p.m. in Rudder Auditorium. The ceremony will set the stage for six commencement exercises that will take place the following two days at Reed Arena.
Commencement convocation is a relatively new tradition at Texas A&M. The event is open to the public and allows all members of the university’s graduating class to join family and friends to celebrate their hard work and dedication, as well as their future success.
“It’s been my good fortune to have known Commissioner Staples for several years, dating back to before I became vice chancellor and dean,” Hussey said. “I know him to be a great Aggie and great Texan who has served our state — particularly the agricultural sector and consumers — exceedingly well. I am confident he will bring a most meaningful message to our degree candidates and their families and friends.”
Commissioner Staples, a native of Anderson County in East Texas, became the 11th Commissioner of Agriculture for the State of Texas in 2006 and is currently serving his second term.
Prior to assuming this position, Commissioner Staples served in the Texas Senate and earlier in the Texas House of Representatives. Commissioner Staples entered public service at age 25 when he was elected to the Palestine City Council.
As Agriculture Commissioner, he leads statewide initiatives to support and advance Texas agriculture, including: expanding the reach of Texas agricultural products and businesses through the GO TEXAN marketing program; providing workforce skills and training for students in rural Texas communities; promoting the 3E’s of Healthy Living – Education, Exercise and Eating Right to school children; encouraging voluntary water conversation through the Texas Water Smart coalition; organizing a statewide Wildfire Task Force to develop wildfire mitigation efforts; and fighting to secure our porous border through smart immigration reform.