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Accomplished alumni among speakers at UT Arlington graduations

News Release — 8 May 2009


Media contact: Teresa Newton, (817) 272-7078,

ARLINGTON - Graduates at The University of Texas at Arlington will hear from outstanding speakers, including four alumni, at commencement ceremonies scheduled May 15-18.

The University will award 2,082 bachelor's degrees, 685 master's degrees and 51 doctoral degrees

All commencement ceremonies will be held at Texas Hall, 701 W. Nedderman Drive. The commencement schedule is posted online at

Graduation Celebration, an event for all graduating students and their families, begins at 8 p.m. Friday, May 15, at Maverick Stadium, 1307 W. Mitchell St. The rain location is Texas Hall.

Friday, May 15
11:30 a.m.

Maj. Nathan Keller, School of Social Work. Keller completed his doctoral degree in social work at UT Arlington in 2005, and has practiced social work as an active duty Army officer since 1994. Keller helped develop the Goolsby Leadership Academy, a scholarship-based undergraduate leadership development program. He also is a Goolsby Doctoral Fellow. He served as the 1st Calvary's mental health officer during a tour in Iraq. He is an associate professor at the inaugural U.S. Army-Fayetteville State University Master of Social Work program at the Army Medical Department Center and School in Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

8 p.m.
Ron Kirk, Graduation Celebration. Kirk was confirmed in March as President Obama's U.S. Trade Representative. He was Dallas' first African-American mayor and served as Texas secretary of state under Gov. Ann Richards. Kirk is a partner in the Vinson & Elkins law firm. In 2008, the National Law Journal named him one of the 50 most influential minority lawyers in the country. Kirk received his law degree from The University of Texas School of Law and his bachelor's degree from Austin College.

Saturday, May 16
9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
Douglass A. Reed, College of Business
. Reed is senior vice president of regional management for Fidelity Investments, the largest mutual fund company in the United States. He joined Fidelity in 1986 after working for The Southland Corporation. He received a bachelor's degree from The University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from the University of Dallas. He has been active in numerous non-profit and community organizations including Dallas Chamber of Commerce and the Texas Association of Taxpayers.

Sunday, May 17
12:30 p.m.
Shirley Burchfield, School of Urban and Public Affairs.
Burchfield, who earned a bachelor's, master's and doctorate degree from UT Arlington, is vice president of World Education Inc. (WEI), a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of the poor. At WEI, Burchfield heads the programs in Africa and manages a staff of 250 people with an annual budget of $20 million. Her areas of interest include community participation, educational policy and planning, girls' and women's education, research, program management, and monitoring and evaluation. She is also an adjunct associate professor in the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Michael Guyton, College of Engineering.
Guyton is the Fort Worth and Tarrant County area vice president of customer operations and community relations for Oncor Electric Delivery, the nation's sixth-largest energy transmission and distribution company. While earning a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering at UT Arlington, he worked for TXU (the company's former name) as a co-op employee; the company hired him as a staff engineer upon his graduation in 1982.

Monday, May 18
3 p.m.

Dr. Donald Jernigan and Dr. Maxwell C. Scarlett, College of Science. Jernigan was the first graduate of The University of Texas at Arlington in June 1967. He received the first diploma awarded after the name change from Arlington State College. Jernigan is president and CEO of Adventist Health System, the largest not-for-profit protestant hospital system in the country. Scarlett became the first African-American graduate Arlington State College in 1966. He is president and chief executive officer of Lekar Emergency Medical Associates in Killeen. Scarlett and his wife, Vivian, recently established the Biology Department's first endowed professorship.


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