AUSTIN, Texas—Donald L. Evans, the 34th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, will be the speaker for the 121st spring commencement at The University of Texas at Austin at 8 p.m. on May 22.
The commencement ceremony on the university’s Main Mall will be preceded earlier in the day and on the previous day by college and school convocations.
Evans, a former businessman in the oil and gas industry, is a recipient of The University of Texas at Austin Distinguished Alumnus Award and is a former member and chairman of the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System.
“Secretary Evans has had a long and distinguished association with The University of Texas at Austin, from his undergraduate studies to his leadership as chairman of the UT System Board of Regents,” said Dr. Larry R. Faulkner, president of the university. “For more than a decade, he has committed most of his life to public service, first in Texas, now in Washington at the cabinet level. He is a man of integrity, optimism and good will. We are fortunate that he has agreed to share his perspectives and his wisdom with the university community at our spring commencement.”
As secretary of the Department of Commerce, Evans oversees a diverse cabinet agency with about 40,000 workers and a $5.8 billion budget focused on promoting American business at home and abroad. His department gathers economic and demographic data, issues patents and trademarks, helps set technical standards, forecasts the weather, conducts oceans and coastal zone research, manages marine fisheries and sanctuaries, enforces international trade laws and develops telecommunications and technology policy.
In 1995, Texas Gov. George W. Bush appointed Evans to the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System. Evans was elected chairman of the board in 1997 and served two consecutive terms. He also was a board member of the Scleroderma Research Foundation for eight years and was instrumental in Native Vision, a program that provides services to about 10,000 Native American children. He was involved with the United Way for many years, serving as president of the Midland branch in 1989 and campaign chair in 1981.
In 2001, the University of South Carolina awarded Evans an honorary doctor of humane letters degree. In 2002, Evans was inducted into The University of Texas at Austin’s Red McCombs School of Business Hall of Fame.
Evans worked on behalf of Bush’s successful gubernatorial campaigns in 1994 and 1998 and was chairman of the Bush/Cheney 2000 presidential campaign.
For more information contact: Robert D. Meckel, Office of Public Affairs, 512-475-7847.