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Maverick Celebration brings speakers, music and fireworks to Levitt Pavilion

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Monday, April 19, 2010

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Media Contact: Teresa Newton

ARLINGTON - UT Arlington honors the Class of 2010 and its achievements during Maverick Celebration, the end-of-year bash formerly called Graduation Celebration, at 8 p.m. May 7. The event will be held for the first time at the Levitt Pavilion in downtown Arlington.

William McKenzie

William McKenzie

Dallas Morning News columnist William McKenzie, a 2010 Pulitzer Prize winner for editorial writing, will deliver the keynote address. Speakers include UT Arlington President James D. Spaniolo and student Wendy Okolo, who will graduate next month with a degree in aerospace engineering.

The festivities will be highlighted by a fireworks display. Students, friends and family are invited to stay and dance under the stars, with Texas alt-country band Micky and the Motorcars, the UT Arlington Festival Band and others.

No tickets are needed for this free event at the pavilion, 100 W. Abram St. In case of inclement weather, the event will move to Texas Hall on the UT Arlington campus.

McKenzie built a career in opinion writing after earning a master's degree in political science from UT Arlington in 1979. A Fort Worth native, McKenzie spearheaded the launch of Texas Faith, a weekly online discussion about religion, politics and culture. He also moderates the Morning News' Education Front blog.

McKenzie credits his UT Arlington political science professors - Luther Haggard, Luther Wayne Odom and Charles Knerr - with helping him identify a career path he loves. He said his remarks would be "from the heart."

"Never give up," McKenzie said he wants UT Arlington students to know. "Even if you flop, which I did a bit coming out of college, you get back up."

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.