UH to Salute Graduates, Present President's Medallions at Fall Commencement

HOUSTON, Dec. 12, 2011-The University of Houston will cap off a remarkable year with the celebration of the academic success of thousands of students graduating from seven colleges Dec. 16 at Hofheinz Pavilion. The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences will hold its fall commencement at 9 a.m. The colleges of education, technology, hotel and restaurant management, and natural sciences and mathematics will hold their ceremonies at 3 p.m. At Bauer College of Business and the Cullen College of Engineering will hold their commencement at 7 p.m.

During fall commencement, the university also will pay tribute to Wilhelmina E. “Beth” Robertson, former UH System regent; Ken Bailey Jr., alumnus and Houston attorney; and the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (HHCC), presenting them with the prestigious President’s Medallion. The medallion recognizes an individual or an organization for exceptional contributions to UH.  

As a granddaughter of Hugh Roy Cullen and Lillie Cranz Cullen, UH's founding family and first major benefactors, Robertson has continued her family’s legacy of championing the UH System and UH. She served for six years on the UH System Board of Regents, and was its chair from 1993 to 1996. During that time, she also led a fundraising effort to acquire the Frank Stella murals that grace the Moores Opera House. Most recently, she has been active as a member of the president’s Tier One Advisory Board.

As a tireless and committed community volunteer and philanthropic leader, she serves on the boards of numerous organizations including The Cullen Trust for Health Care, the Cullen Foundation Welch Foundation and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Houston Zoo. In 1998, UH awarded Robertson with the Doctor of Humane Letters degree. She is the recipient of many other honors, including the UH Alumni Association’s President’s Award and the Phi Beta Kappa Outstanding Contribution to Education Award. She is president of the investment firm Cockspur Inc. and Westview Development Inc.

Bailey, founding partner in the law firm of Bailey Perrin Bailey, earned a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from UH. He has served as a member of the UH Law Foundation Board, the Cougar Pride Advisory Board, the Tier One Advisory Board and as chairman of the End Zone Complex Campaign. Not only has Bailey been a key participant in the process of building a stronger university, he has also been exceptionally generous in his financial support of the UH Law Center, for which he was designated the Super Hero at the 2001 Law Center Gala, and of UH Athletics.

HHCC, which was founded in 1977 by a group of prominent Hispanic business people, represents more than 70,000 Hispanic businesses in Houston. The chamber has earned numerous accolades for its advocacy and community service. In 2009, it received the prestigious National Large Hispanic Chamber of the Year Award, and the Regional Large Hispanic Chamber of the Year Award from the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. HHCC endorsed UH’s case for Tier One funding during the 82nd Texas Legislature.

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