University of Houston-Victoria fall graduates and their guests will have the opportunity to hear words of encouragement from a United States senator during this year’s fall commencement ceremony.

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at the ceremony, which will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Leonard E. Merrell Center, 6301 S. Stadium Lane in Katy. A livestream of the ceremony will be available at uhv.edu/graduation.

“I look forward to speaking at commencement to mark what I hope is not the culmination of the Jaguars’ education but the beginning of a lifelong journey of learning,” Cornyn said.

Cornyn first was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2002 and is now in his third term. He has served the people of Texas for more than three decades, first as a district judge and later as a member of the Texas Supreme Court and Texas Attorney General.

This is the second time Cornyn has been selected as a keynote speaker for the university’s fall commencement. He last spoke during the 2007 fall commencement ceremony.

“We are honored to have Senator Cornyn return as our commencement speaker,” UHV President Bob Glenn said. “The presence of such a distinguished senator – especially one who is an active supporter of education – to address our graduates during this exciting time shows that UHV is becoming a prominent university in our state.”

Cornyn helped bring billions of dollars in federal aid to the state after the area was devastated by Hurricane Harvey in 2017. He also helped secure $5.5 billion in targeted tax relief for Texans impacted by Harvey.

Following the storm, Cornyn met with Victoria Independent School District officials to survey damage at Aloe Elementary School and learn more about how students were impacted. He has held countless meetings with local and state officials to monitor and offer his help with the ongoing recovery.

Cornyn also has introduced legislation that has been signed into law to help abolish human trafficking, prevent substance abuse, promote criminal justice reform, strengthen the mental health system and promote public safety. He sits on the Senate Finance, Intelligence and Judiciary committees.

Cornyn was born in Houston and grew up in San Antonio, where he graduated from Trinity University with a degree in journalism and from St. Mary’s University School of Law. He also has a Master of Laws degree from the University of Virginia. Because his father served in the U.S. Air Force, at various points Cornyn’s family also was stationed in El Paso; Biloxi, Miss.; Washington, D.C.; and Tachikawa, Japan.

UHV hosts graduation ceremonies in two different locations each year. Spring commencement is in Victoria, while the fall ceremony is held in Katy to better accommodate UHV students who take classes at the UHV Katy instructional site. Summer and fall graduates have the option of attending the commencement ceremony in Katy or waiting until the May graduation in Victoria.

For more information about commencement, email graduation@uhv.edu or call 361-570-4848.

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