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Congratulations, Class of 2010

The University of Texas at Arlington's 2010 spring graduating class is the largest ever at the University as 3,116 candidates will cross the Texas Hall stage through May 17 to claim their degrees.

This class is 10.5 percent larger than last year's previous high mark as 2,247 will receive undergraduate degrees with 869 earning a master's or doctoral degree.

The increase is being driven by strong enrollment trends, particularly in the College of Nursing, where enrollment has been boosted through the RN-to-BSN program, and through the University Studies degree program, which allows students who haven't decided on a major or who want to pursue interests in a range of academic areas to earn their degrees.

Comments from Maverick Celebration (held May 7 at Levitt Pavilion), a festive gathering that begins the graduation season:

  • President James D. Spaniolo spoke of what awaits graduates. "You wield the instruments of knowledge and discernment that will help you become engaged citizens of our new world."
  • William McKenzie, a 2010 Pulitzer Prize winning alumnus and keynote speaker, advised them on success. "Find your passion. Be flexible. And whatever you do, don't quit ... not now ... not ever."
  • "Mavericks," mechanical engineering major Wendy Okolo called her fellow graduates in her celebratory speech, "I know that you are capable of doing, to the utmost of your abilities, whatever you have chosen to do."

Some graduation traditions:

  • Nursing graduates choose a friend, family member, significant other, or nursing mentor to pin them with the UT Arlington nursing emblem at a ceremony held prior to Commencement.
  • Military science graduates become U.S. Army officers during their commissioning ceremony.
  • The College of Engineering's regal procession of graduating students begins at Nedderman Hall and ends at Texas Hall prior to Commencement.

Some stories of those receiving degrees:

  • Gabby Riehle will bring more to her fourth-grade classrooms next fall than many first-year teachers. The alumna of Sam Houston High School in Arlington worked counter narcotics intelligence in Central and South America for the U.S. Army before considering her college career. Riehle also spent time in the corporate world, but the mother of two wanted something more fulfilling. Using her GI Bill benefits, she has earned a degree and teaching certification, landing a job at Goodman Elementary in the Arlington school district.
  • Margaret Knox-Kruschke will have company when she walks across the stage to accept her diploma for a master's degree in history. Josephene, her service poodle, helps her with sounds Knox-Kruschke cannot absorb. An accident on a rifle range produced Knox-Kruschke's substantial loss of hearing. The military veteran would love to land a job as an archivist in a library.
  • Daniel Hudlow brought his own academic network when he arrived on the UT Arlington campus four years ago. His older brother and sister, John and Rachel, were there, and now twin brothers, Paul and David, are on campus. Only 16-year-old James is still at home. Mom Vi Hudlow, also a UT Arlington graduate, home-schooled each of her children with obvious success. All the Hudlow students pulled grade point averages of at least 3.9. Daniel graduates with a perfect 4.0.

Several Commencement speakers are alums:

  • The School of Social Work celebrates the 40th anniversary of its first graduating class as Sister Mary Fulbright ('70 MSSW) speaks along with current graduate Tenley McCarley ('10 MSSW) for a "Then and Now" presentation.
  • Col. Everette E. Gray ('68 BSME), U.S. Army retired, speaks to the College of Engineering candidates. Col. Gray is a registered patent attorney in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and is a professional engineer in Virginia.
  • College of Liberal Arts candidates will hear a pair of alums who have excelled locally. Karen Borta ('87 BA), news anchor for CBS affiliate KTVT channel 11, speaks at the 4 p.m. Saturday ceremony while Trey Yelverton ('88 BA), deputy city manager for the City of Arlington, speaks to the candidates at 7 p.m.