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ASU Fall Graduates to Receive Diplomas in Dec. 11 Ceremonies

December 08, 2010

Nearly 400 students are scheduled to receive diplomas during Angelo State University’s fall graduation ceremonies on Saturday, Dec. 11, with Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples delivering the commencement addresses.

Staples will address graduates of the College of Business and the College of Education during a 10 a.m. ceremony. He will speak to graduates of the College of Liberal and Fine Arts, College of Sciences and College of Nursing and Allied Health in a 2 p.m. ceremony. Both ceremonies will be in the Junell Center/Stephens Arena, 2235 S. Jackson St., and are open free to the public.

During ASU’s commencement, 62 master’s degrees, 304 bachelor’s degrees and 15 associate’s degrees are scheduled to be presented. Graduate students will earn 14 master of arts, five master of science in nursing, 13 master of education, seven master of business administration, two master of accountancy, 16 master of physical therapy and five master of science degrees.

Undergraduates will receive 88 bachelor of arts, 58 bachelor of business administration, three bachelor of fine arts, nine bachelor of interdisciplinary studies, 121 bachelor of science, 23 bachelor of science in nursing, two bachelor of social work and 15 associate of applied science in nursing degrees.

The commencement exercises will conclude two days of graduation-related events on the ASU campus. At 3 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10, ASU’s Air Force ROTC Detachment 847 will conduct its fall Commissioning Ceremony for graduating cadets in Room 266 of the Rassman Building, 2222 Dena Drive. Each cadet will receive an appointment as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force.

Also on Friday, the ASU Physical Therapy Department will honor its 16 graduates with an awards ceremony and reception at 7 p.m. in the C.J. Davidson Conference Center inside the Houston Harte University Center, 1910 Rosemont Drive. Graduates will receive awards for academic accomplishments, research excellence and outstanding clinical performance. The department will also present the Golden Ram Award to the graduate selected by the class members as best exemplifying the qualities of a professional physical therapist. The department’s Outstanding Clinical Instructor, Outstanding Guest Lecturer and Professor of the Year awards will also be presented.

This fall’s commencement speaker, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples, was re-elected to his second term as agriculture commissioner in November. He previously served in the Texas House of Representatives from 1995-2000 and in the Texas Senate from 2000-06. In the Senate, he was chair of the Transportation and Homeland Security Committee, Workers Compensation Select Interim Committee and Texas Senate Republican Caucus. He also served as vice chair of the State Affairs Committee and the Veteran Affairs and Military Installations Committee. Prior to his election to the state legislature, he was a city council member in his hometown of Palestine in East Texas.

During his time as a legislator, Staples was a recognized leader on such critical issues as worker’s compensation reform, private property owners’ rights, natural resources, school finance and education. As agriculture commissioner, he continues to pursue policies that enable economic strength, youth development, healthy lifestyles and consumer protection.

Outside of politics, Staples has owned a nursery business and a real estate office, and has partnered in a cattle ranching operation. He is also a former instructor at Trinity Valley Community College and serves as a deacon in his local Baptist church.

While attending Palestine High School, Staples was an active member of Future Farmers of America (FFA). He graduated magna cum laude from Texas A&M University in 1984 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics, and served as state FFA vice president from 1981-82.

Staples and his wife, Janet, have four grown children.