News & Events

Celebrating Commencement 2012

The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences praised its graduates on their hard work and great accomplishment during the Spring Commencement on May 11, 2012.

CLASS had the distinction of hosting at its commencement exercises the ceremonies to confer honorary degrees on alumna Dr. Cristina Rivera-Garza and Brown University President Ruth Simmons. “This is the pinnacle of my career right here, because I have finally become a Cougar” President Simmons said during graduation. “To put a little color on that, my family has really been distressed by career. They have wondered over the years what the problem is. ‘Why is that you can’t get a job in Houston?’” said President Simmons, who grew up in Houston’s Fifth Ward neighborhood.

Six CLASS undergraduates completed their studies with 4.0 cumulative grade point averages. Four of the summa cum laude graduates with perfect GPAs participated in commencement and had their achievement recognized by by the President Renu Khator and Dean John W. Roberts.  President Simmons in her remarks said of the students, “I also want to point out, in case anyone had not noticed, that all of the perfect GPA graduates are women. I always feel it’s appropriate to point out that women rock.”

Summa Cum Laude gradutes

1 Perfect GPA summa cum laude graduates from left to right: Mary Nelson, B.A. in Psychology; Kimberley Harrison, B.A. in History; Emily Hutchins, B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders; and Sarah Chesley, B.A. in Communication

Dr. Bencomo and Dr. Cristina Rivera-Garza

2 Dr. Anadeli Bencomo, chair of the Department of Hispanic Studies (left) welcomes back to campus honorary doctorate degree recipient Dr. Cristina Rivera-Garza, who earned her Ph.D. in Latin American History from the College.

Brown University President Ruth Simpson and Tamecia Glover Harris

3 Brown University President Ruth Simmons (left) received an honorary doctoral degree during the commencement ceremony. She is greeted here by Regent Tamecia Glover Harris, a dual J.D. and M.B.A. candidate.

3 Graduates students posed before being conferred their master's degrees

4 Minutes away from having their master’s degrees conferred.


Commencement Schedule holded by Student

5 CLASS students reflect the wide range of diversity in scholarship, extracurricular activities and cultural exchange available at the University.


College's banners representating each department, school and major

6 The banners representing the College’s departments, schools and majors.


ROTC Students performed color guard duties

7 The College’s Military Science and ROTC students performed color guard duties.


Moores Schoold of music students orchestra

8 Moores School of Music students providing melodious pomp and circumstance.


CLASS Leaders walking to the stage

9 CLASS leaders from left to right: Associate Dean of Faculty and Research Kathleen Brosnan, Interim Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies David Phillips, and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies Catherine Patterson

Debbie Harwell, Ph.D being hooded by Dr. Storrs

10 The hooding of Debbie Harwell, Ph.D. in History by Landon Storrs, Associate Professor in the Department of History.


Flying pig among  red roses - artistic visual decorating student's cap

11 A hat featuring a flying pig among red roses was one of many artistic visual celebrations adorning graduates on commencement day.


Graduating Student shaking hands symbolinzing the end of a journey

12 A congratulatory handshake at the end of the journey across the stage and through the college years.