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Getting ready to walk UTRGV graduation ceremonies set for May 13-14

UTRGV students pose in front of the WE WILL Celebrate chalkboard Thursday in Main Courtyard on the Brownsville campus. Students, staff and faculty were encouraged to sign congratulations messages to the UTRGV Class of 2016. An identical board was signed on the Edinburg campus and both will be displayed in the Alumni center, located at 2402 S. Closner Blvd. in Edinburg. Michelle Espinoza/The Rider

UTRGV’s inaugural year will close with more than 3,000 students graduating in one ceremony on the Brownsville campus and three in the McAllen Convention Center.

Kristin Croyle, vice president for Student Success, stated in an email that 2,261 students will receive a bachelor’s degree, 702 will get a master’s and eight a doctoral degree.

Additionally, 11 cooperative pharmacy students will receive a professional doctor degree in pharmacy and 50 Math and Science Academy students a high school diploma from the university and 60 to 62 college credit hours.

Last December, the university created two artifacts that will be used in all graduation ceremonies, a mace and a medallion with the UT System seal that President Guy Bailey will wear, which makes these items a tradition for UTRGV.

“What we’ve experienced here, in terms of higher education, is one of the greatest and most fundamental and transformational changes in higher education across the country,” Havidán Rodríguez, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs, said about UTRGV’s first year.

“It’s quite amazing the progress we have made in such a short period of time.”

The first ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. May 13 on the Student Union lawn in Brownsville.

At the McAllen Convention Center the ceremonies will start at 9 a.m. May 14 for the College of Business and Entrepreneurship, College of Sciences and the College of Education & P-16 Integration, followed by the College of Engineering & Computer Science and College of Liberal Arts at 1 p.m., the College of Fine Arts and College of Health Affairs at 5 p.m.

Bailey will speak at the ceremonies and distinguished alumni will be recognized on the Brownsville campus. People who made the creation of UTRGV possible will be recognized as well.

Graduating students are well prepared to leave the university and engage in the professional community, Croyle said.

“Every single one of them is ready,” she said. “That’s what we are saying when they graduate. They are ready to go out and change the world.”

The class ring is still in the works. A committee is working on the design for the ring and it should be ready by the December ceremony. When the ring is ready, any alumni or graduating students will be able to purchase it, Croyle said.

Tickets will be required for entrance to the ceremonies at the McAllen Convention Center. Seating will be on a first come, first serve basis for both locations.

In the event of inclement weather in Brownsville, the ceremony will be moved to 6 p.m. May 13 in the McAllen Convention Center. Students will be notified via email 24 to 48 hours prior to a location change.

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