Skip to content. Skip to main navigation.
Like everything else in Texas, graduation is big at The University of Texas at Arlington, which celebrates its largest graduating class this May.
The spring Class of 2011—3,733 strong—will cross the Texas Hall stage Thursday-Sunday, May 12-15, to receive their diplomas. Through 12 separate commencement ceremonies, the 2,600 undergraduate, 1,059 master’s, and 74 doctoral candidates step up to receive their degrees.
The graduates and their families and friends come together Friday night, May 13, for Graduation Celebration, a traditional evening of recognition at the Levitt Pavilion, a beautiful outdoor venue in Founders’ Plaza in downtown Arlington. Community members, faculty, and fellow students are invited to join in the free festivities, which include music by the UT Arlington Jazz Orchestra, food, and fireworks.
John Legend, a Grammy-winning singer and musician, brought an inspirational message to the graduates and guests at Graduation Celebration.
Legend told students to “...go forth into the world with a mission for good. Find ways to give, find ways to serve, find ways to contribute to humanity.... Be the inspiration that fills the gap. You have so much power, so much opportunity. Make sure this education, this amazing gift, doesn’t go to waste.”
Student speaker Kate Aoki, who received her master’s degree in architecture earlier that day, reflected on the value of her education.
“I have been incredibly fortunate to have found at UTA the kind of environment that fosters my curiosity and to have studied under exceptional faculty members,” Aoki said. “Our education belongs to us—we own it. But it is up to us to continue to use it.”
President James D. Spaniolo reminded the graduates that they are part of the Maverick reputation. A CEO of a Fortune 500 company recently told him “...graduates from other universities know what questions to ask, but UT Arlington graduates know how to find the answers. Graduates from other places can talk proficiently about their work, but UT Arlington graduates are willing to do the work. And he was talking about you. This is your legacy.“
For commencement ceremonies, graduates file into Texas Hall following a procession led by University and department leaders and faculty members who helped them along their journey to this hallmark event. Their black caps and gowns may include additional attire known as stoles and hoods that represent their class ranking, an honor society, an advanced degree, or a special achievement.
They look much the same when exiting Texas Hall for a reception on the east lawn, except for a smile and a diploma in hand. Their actions, achievements, and success—not their appearance—shows that they are true Mavericks.