AUSTIN, Texas—Dr. William S. Livingston, who has been called “the conscience, the soul, the memory, the wit and the wise elder” of The University of Texas at Austin, has accepted an invitation to deliver the address at the 116th commencement May 22. The ceremony will be held on the South Mall in front of the Main Building.
An eminent political scientist who specializes in British government and comparative political systems, Livingston has held numerous positions at UT Austin ranging from chairman of the department of government to acting president of the University. He held the position of vice president and dean of graduate studies from 1979 to 1995 and now serves as senior vice president.
“The current academic year is Dr. Livingston’s 50th year with the University, and I am delighted that he has agreed to speak at commencement,” said UT President Larry R. Faulkner in making the announcement. “He is a superb speaker with a valuable perspective, and I am grateful for his willingness to serve our community in this way.
“Part of the UT story this spring is the reopening of the Tower, which identifies and symbolizes the University community. I can’t think of a better person to reflect on this than Bill Livingston.”
A new style for UT’s commencement was introduced in 1995, and the event has become a popular experience for students as well as the general public. Last year, attendance reached 21,000.
Livingston, who is the Jo Anne Christian Professor Emeritus in British Studies, was instrumental in establishing several prominent programs at UT, including the Texas Center for Writers, the Faculty Seminar on British Studies, the Clark Center for Australian Studies and the Normandy Scholars Program. He also served as chairman of the two committees that planned and developed the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs.
During the Second World War, Livingston fought in the Battle of the Bulge and received a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. He joined the UT Austin faculty in 1949 and has taught courses in American government, British government and politics and comparative political systems.