The number of graduates Texas A&M University-Commerce increased by over 1,000 during Commencement exercises May 12th.
About 1,060 students became graduates of Texas A&M University-Commerce during Commencement exercises May 12th. Recipients of Master's and Doctoral degrees heard from Gene Lockhart, associate professor and former head of the Department of Music and a former university vice president who retired as of the end of the semester. Lockhart came to A&M-Commerce in 1969 as a music faculty member. From 1970 to 1983, he was director of the Music Department Summer Camps. Under his leadership, attendance of high school students at summer camps increased from 500 to 5,000. In the early 1980s, he was a co-director of the Honors Program, director of development, assistant director of university relations, and secretary of the ETSU Foundation. For 14 years, Lockhart served as a vice president in the A&M-Commerce administration. In 1985, he was named vice president for student and university advancement and executive director of the ETSU Foundation. He held this post until 1996 when he became vice president for student and university services. As vice president for student and university services, Lockhart played a major role in the merger of East Texas State University into The Texas A&M University System, chaired the logo design team, and established and funded a team to create the university's Web site.
Recipients of undergraduate degrees heard from Bill Jones, vice chairman of The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents. Jones is a partner in the law firm of Vinson and Elkins LLP in Austin. Formerly general counsel to the Office of the Governor for Governor Rick Perry, he has also been associated with Locke Liddell & Sapp LLP in Austin. Jones received his undergraduate degree in business management from Texas A&M University and Juris Doctor from Baylor University School of Law. While at Texas A&M, he was a member of the Corps of Cadets. He received the Outstanding Freshman in the Corps of Cadets Award, was a member of the Ross Volunteers Honor Guard, and achieved the rank of First Brigade Commander. Jones serves on the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System Foundation Board, the Capitol Area Boy Scouts of America Board, Legacy Society Executive Board, Texas Public Policy Foundation Board, Texas State History Museum Foundation Board, and, until recently, the Texas A&M Former Students Association Board.