Approximately 3,600 Texas A&M students are expected to be awarded degrees during the university's mid-year commencement exercises Friday and Saturday (Dec. 16-17), officials announced today. Texas A&M's graduation ceremonies actually begin Thursday (Dec. 15) with a commencement convocation address by Andrew H. Card Jr., acting dean of the Bush School of Government and Public Service.
Commencement convocation is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday in Rudder Auditorium. Two commencement exercises will be held Friday — at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. — and one at 9 a.m. Saturday, all at Reed Arena. The Saturday ceremony will include the commissioning of approximately 50 members of the Corps of Cadets into the Army, Air Force, Navy or Marine Corps.
For a listing of times for the ceremonies that include specific colleges, go to http://graduation.tamu.edu/ceremon.html.
Commencement convocation and the graduation ceremonies are open to the public, university officials note.
The Association of Former Students will host its “Next Tradition” program in conjunction with the university’s graduation ceremonies. The program, designed to introduce new graduates to the alumni organization and its varied activities, will be conducted at the Clayton Williams Jr. Alumni Center before and after commencement convocation and from 11:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. Friday and from 11:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. Saturday.
Card, who held a variety of top-level governmental positions under three U.S. presidents, has served as acting dean of the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M since July. He was named to that position after Dean Ryan Crocker was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as ambassador to Afghanistan. Crocker, who was appointed Bush School dean in January of 2010, is on a leave of absence but is expected to return to that position after completing his current foreign service, university officials note.
“Mr. Card has served admirably in a number of public service positions, and as acting dean of the Bush School, and we are confident he will bring a message that will be inspiring and well received by our degree candidates, their families and others attending commencement convocation,” Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin said in announcing the selection of Card to present the address.
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.
Card served as White House chief of staff under President George W. Bush from 2001 until 2006. He served as deputy chief of staff and, subsequently, as secretary of transportation under President George H. W. Bush. Card also was appointed as special assistant and later deputy assistant to the president, as well as director of intergovernmental affairs, by President Ronald Reagan.
He began his public service career in 1975 when he was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, where he served until 1983. In 1982, he was named “Legislator of the Year” by the National Republican Legislators Association and received the “Distinguished Legislator Award” from the Massachusetts Municipal Association.
Card also has served in leadership positions in industry. He is a cofounder of the Lonsdale Group and currently serves on several boards and councils, including the board of directors of Union Pacific Corporation. Additionally, he is senior counselor on the international advisory board at Fleishman-Hillard and the advisory board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Card is a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a B.S. in engineering. He also attended the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1965 to 1967.
He and his wife, the Rev. Kathleene Card, are natives of Holbrook, Mass., and have three children and six grandchildren.