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Congratulations, Class of 2016

This year’s commencement ceremonies were bigger than ever. On May 12-14, more than 5,600 claimed their degrees at College Park Center. The UT Arlington Class of 2016 included 3,753 undergraduates, 1,754 master’s degree recipients, and 100 doctoral graduates.

graduates at commencement

That number marked a 10 percent increase over last spring’s class, driven in part by expansions in UTA’s engineering, nursing, and education programs. Currently, the University is on track to exceed the 10,586 degrees awarded during the 2014-2015 academic year.

“We are incredibly proud of our graduates for the hard work, dedication, and accomplishment that each one has exhibited on the pathway to earning a degree,” says President Vistasp M. Karbhari. “As our May graduates join the ranks of more than 200,000 alumni globally, they will strengthen our cities and communities, provide leadership in their chosen fields of endeavor, and ensure a well-educated workforce that will serve Texas and the world.”

Adds State Rep. Chris Turner (D-Grand Prairie): “I applaud each one of these accomplished students who have achieved much and together will contribute to the economic health and vitality of the region.”

Among the notable speakers featured during commencement ceremonies were Patricia Hurn, UT System vice chancellor for research and innovation and chief health research officer (College of Nursing and Health Innovation); Marcello Cavazos, superintendent of the Arlington Independent School District (College of Education); Major Gen. Lester Simpson, 36th Infantry Division, Texas Army National Guard, the first African-American battalion commander in the Texas Army National Guard and the first African-American commanding general of the 36th Infantry Division (College of Liberal Arts); and Brian Coltharp, chief operating officer of the engineering firm Freese and Nichols Inc (College of Engineering).

This year’s graduating class featured a number of impressive students. This includes Daniel Winston-Ruiz, who, despite having to leave school briefly last year following his mother’s death, was named outstanding male senior in the UTA Pre-Law Center. He graduated with a psychology degree and won one of 10 highly competitive Clarence Darrow Scholarships to the University of Michigan Law School.

Sylvia Loh graduated from a UTA program that allowed her to earn a bachelor’s degree in biology and master’s in biomedical engineering in just five years. Loh, a UTA Archer Fellow, begins an internship May 31 at the Food and Drug Administration in Washington, D.C. Her career aspirations are focused on designing medical devices to help people.

Micah Benson, who has accepted a nursing position at the Methodist Dallas Medical Center emergency room in Dallas, is one of a long line of UTA grads. Benson’s father, Seth, is a 1987 electrical engineering graduate; brothers Simeon and Nathan have UTA civil engineering and mechanical engineering degrees, respectively; and sisters Abby and Emily have UTA kinesiology and nursing degrees. Another sister, Amanda, is a sophomore pursuing a physics degree at the University. Micah, one of nine total children, got a head start on his college degree during high school through the Honors College dual-credit program.

These outstanding students represent only a small sampling of the talented, dedicated, and hardworking graduates in the UT Arlington Class of 2016. Congratulations to everyone who earned their degrees this spring.