11th District Congressman Mike Conaway of Midland, a 1970 graduate of then East Texas State, presented the Spring Convocation address at Texas A&M University-Commerce on Monday, April 2. You can hear the entire ceremony here.
40 years ago, the 1967 Spring Semester was when a graduate from Odessa-Permian High School started attending what was then East Texas State University. Now a Congressman from Midland serving the Permian Basin and the rest of the 36 counties in the 11th District, Mike Conaway is the first A&M-Commerce alumnus to serve in Congress since Sam Rayburn.
A native Texan who grew up in Odessa, Conaway was the first freshman member of Congress to win the Ronald Reagan Award for showing exemplary leadership in communicating the message of Social Security reform with constituents.
In his second term in Congress, he uses his CPA background as a vocal proponent in reducing the national debt. Conaway has authored "No New Programs" legislation to change the House rules on spending to require that when a new federal program is created that an existing federal program of equal or greater cost be eliminated.
He also supports a simpler and fairer tax system and has sponsored legislation that would bring more accountability in government funding.
Conaway serves on the House Agriculture, Armed Services, Budget and Republican Policy Committees.
A 1966 graduate of Odessa Permian High School who played on Permian's first state championship football team, he received a B.B.A. in accounting from A&M-Commerce in 1970.
After serving in the U.S. Army at Fort Hood, Conaway resumed his career with Price Waterhouse & Co. and moved to Midland. Later, he worked with George W. Bush as the chief financial officer for Bush Exploration. He is a longtime friend of President Bush.
An ordained deacon in the Baptist Church, Conaway and wife Suzanne have four children and seven grandchildren.
Click here to listen to the ceremony.