Graduation Celebration, UT Arlington's annual celebration of the graduating
class, will take place inside College Park Center, 601 Spaniolo Drive (formerly
Pecan Street) in Arlington tonight at 7:30 p.m.
Originally planned outdoors at Levitt Pavilion, the
event is moving indoors because heavy rains have saturated the pavilion grounds
and more inclement weather is predicted throughout today and this evening.
The event is free and no tickets are required. Free
parking available in all campus lots and the parking garages just north of
College Park Center. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
The University of Texas at Arlington
will award a record number of degrees during Commencement Week 2013, which
features a free, Friday night festival with fireworks and remarks by actor,
producer and former White House aide Kal Penn.
Graduation Celebration begins at 7:30
p.m. Friday, May 10, with live music and free food at the Levitt Pavilion in
downtown Arlington, 100 W. Abram St. Graduates, families, friends and
supporters are encouraged to attend. The formal program starts at 8 p.m.
A full schedule of Commencement Week
activities is available online at http://www.uta.edu/commencement/. Commencement
ceremonies will be held May 11 and 12 at College Park Center, 601 Spaniolo
UT Arlington will confer more than
4,500 degrees this spring, a 14 percent increase compared with the Spring 2012
The University’s outdoor,
end-of-the-year celebration is open to the public. Also on the Friday evening
program are President James D. Spaniolo and Rene Grimes, a graduate student
from the College of Education and Health Professions who will speak on behalf
of the Class of 2013.
Penn, 35, is well known for his
starring roles in “House,” “24” and the popular “Harold and Kumar” franchise.
He interrupted his acting career midstream to work full-time in politics, though he has since returned to his acting career.
In 2009, he joined the Obama
administration as an associate director in the White House Office of Public
Engagement, where he focused on work related to increasing financial aid for
college students and other related initiatives.
Among the compelling stories from this
spring’s graduating class:
- Padmini Veerapen will earn her doctoral
degree in mathematics from the College of Science. She already has secured a
tenure-track position teaching algebra at Tennessee Tech University. While
completing her degree, Veerapen received a National Science Foundation-funded
fellowship to work in Arlington high schools, engaging students and teachers in
mathematics research. The math department was recognized nationally this spring
for its success in boosting enrollment in its doctoral program.
- Tania Sederdahl has worked closely with
the special needs community for a long time – her youngest sister has special
needs. She continued that volunteer service at First Baptist Church of
Arlington where she teaches in special ministries. Sederdahl, who earned a
master’s degree in taxation, converted her internship last summer with
PricewaterhouseCooper into a fulltime position she starts this summer.
- Josh Sidin, Andrew Maddox – Sidin and
Maddox hail from opposite ends of the planet –Australia and Cleburne,
respectively. But both share a passion for helping high school students learn
to love science, technology, engineering and math. The mechanical engineering
graduates created a tutoring program for at-risk, pre-college students that
pairs college mentors with those students and helped implement their program at
Arlington’s Lamar High School. Sidin and Maddox had been developing the idea
when Jeb Bush, an education advocate, spoke last year during the Maverick
Speakers Series. Bush’s passion about education fueled Sidin and Maddox to get
the program started.
Media representatives may call the UT
Arlington Media Relations Office at 817-272-2761 to arrange interviews with
2013 graduates or to make arrangements to cover Graduation Celebration.
The University of Texas at Arlington is
a comprehensive research institution of nearly 33,800 students in the heart of
North Texas. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more.