Almost 1,800 Texas A&M University students are scheduled to receive their degrees during Texas A&M’s summer graduation activities that kick off Thursday (Aug. 15) with a commencement convocation address by Head Softball Coach Jo Evans, whose 672 Aggie wins are the most for any currently active Texas A&M coach—and her 985 coaching wins are among the most nationally.
Among the graduating class this summer are approximately 675 students who will be receiving degrees at the advanced level, including about 270 receiving doctorates, notes a spokesperson for the Office of the Registrar, who adds that precise numbers will not be determined until closer to the actual ceremonies.
Coach Evans will speak at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in Rudder Auditorium. The degree candidates will be formally presented their diplomas during two ceremonies ― at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. ― Friday (Aug. 16) at Reed Arena.
“Coach Evans has served our student athletes in many ways — coach, mentor and motivator — with a high degree of success, both on and off the field of play. On a wider scale she is an exemplary role model for all Aggies, especially the scores of young women who have had the opportunity to play under her tutelage and learn from her,” Loftin said in announcing her selection as the summer 2013 commencement convocation speaker. “She will bring a message that will be highly relevant for our degree candidates and well received by everyone in attendance.”
Evans said she looks forward to the opportunity to make the address.
“It is an honor to be asked to speak at commencement. I am immensely proud to be associated with Texas A&M University and I have a great fondness and respect for our student body, the 12th Man,” she said. “I look forward to the opportunity of celebrating this special day with our newest Aggie graduates.”
Evans came to Texas A&M in 1996 after serving for five years at her alma mater, the University of Utah. She began her head-coaching career at Colorado State University in 1986 after serving two years as an assistant at Florida State University.
Since joining Texas A&M she has posted 17 consecutive 30-win seasons, including eight seasons in which her teams won 40 or more games, and advanced to NCAA post-season competition 14 times—twice advancing to the Women’s College World Series. In the process and while the Aggies were still in the Big 12, she was named “Coach of the Year” three times. With 985 wins to her credit, including 672 while heading Aggie softball, Coach Evans is closing in on the 1,000 milestone—a rarity in the coaching ranks.
In addition to scores of her players earning conference, regional and national recognition for their skills on the diamond, many of them also have distinguished themselves in the classroom, with 49 of them earning Academic All-Big 12 honors and six receiving similar recognition since Texas A&M joined the SEC.
Full biographical information about Coach Evans can be viewed at http://www.aggieathletics.com/ViewArticle.dbml?&SPSID=636854&SPID=93238&DB_LANG=C&DB_OEM_ID=27300&ATCLID=205236358.
Commencement convocation is a relatively new Texas A&M tradition in which all members of a graduating class have the opportunity to assemble together, along with family members and friends in an informal setting. It is a prelude to the degree candidates formally receiving their diplomas in subsequent ceremonies aligned by the academic colleges representing their major fields of study.
For a listing showing the academic colleges that are included in each of the two Friday ceremonies, visit http://graduation.tamu.edu/ceremon.html.
Commencement convocation and the graduation ceremonies are open to the public.
The Association of Former Students will conduct its “Drive Thru & Get Your Decal” program from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday for those students who will be receiving their new degrees and desire to have Texas A&M alumni decals placed on their vehicles at the Clayton W. Williams, Jr. Alumni Center. The Association will host “The Next Tradition” graduation party for Texas A&M’s newest former students at the alumni center from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, when they will be offered free cold drinks, career search advice, a free professional photo under the Haynes Aggie Ring Replica, a chance to learn more about their new role as former students and given another opportunity to obtain an alumni decal. More information about The Association is available at http://www.aggienetwork.com/.