About 710 students representing Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s five colleges received their diplomas during the fall 2014 commencement ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 13, beginning at 10 a.m. at the American Bank Center Arena. There was one ceremony, which included all five colleges.
The graduates included:
- Completing 21 fall semesters, 20 spring semesters, 11 summer semesters, and surviving six strokes barely scratches the surface of James Edmonson’s long history of accomplishments. After surviving his most recent stroke in August, Edmondson received his 10th consecutive master’s degree, a Master of Science in Reading.
- Elizabeth Garza first stepped foot onto campus in 1996 at the tender age of three when she was enrolled at the Blanche Davis Moore Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC), which is located on the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi campus. She completed a goal she set for herself in the first grade when she walked across the stage to receive her Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
- Brianna Eby maintained a 4.0 GPA while completing a 400-hour internship in the physical therapy department at Christus Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-Shoreline. During the internship, she was able to gain hands-on experience learning about physical therapy. After graduation, she plans to attend physical therapy school at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston to earn a Doctorate in Physical Therapy.
- Originally, from Turkey, Tuncer Yasdiman came through the English as a Second Language International Program and graduated with his Bachelor of Business Administration in less than three years. Yasdiman also worked as an International Graduate Student Coordinator while in graduate school. After graduating this fall with his MBA, he aspires to become a successful entrepreneur by opening high-quality restaurant chains.
The commencement keynote speaker was State Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa who is a native of Mission, Texas, with a civil and criminal defense law practice in south Texas. Sen. Hinojosa was first elected to represent Senate District 20 in 2002. He previously served in the Texas House of Representatives from 1981 to 1991, and again from 1997 to 2002. He is the current Chairman of the Texas Senate Hispanic Caucus, Chair of the Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations, Vice Chair on the Finance Committee, and serves on the Agriculture, Rural Affairs & Homeland Security, and Criminal Justice committees.
Since his election to the Texas Senate in 2002, Hinojosa has secured more than $100 million for new construction at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and at the University of Texas-Pan American. Hinojosa served his country in the U.S. Marines Corps as a squad leader during the Vietnam War from 1966 to 1968. He has a bachelor's degree from the University of Texas-Pan American and a law degree from Georgetown University.