The Texas A&M University System's new Chancellor, Howard D. Graves, will be the keynote speaker at Friday's (Aug. 6) Summer Commencement Exercises at Texas A&M International University at 6 p.m. in the Kinesiology-Convocation Building.
This will be Chancellor Graves' first appearance at A&M International.
University president Dr. Charles Jennett said that A&M International is looking forward to hearing from the new Chancellor.
"Chancellor Graves took office Aug. 1 and we are delighted to be the first South Texas institution within the System that he will address. His military and educational career are inspirational and we believe his keynote address will be well-received by our graduates," Dr. Jennett said.
Chancellor Graves is a retired three-star Army general originally from the Texas Panhandle town of Roaring Springs. His educational pursuits and military career have taken him across the globe, from the ivy-covered halls of Oxford University in England to the dense jungles of Vietnam.
He earned a Bachelor of Science degree at the United States Military Academy at West Point, graduating with the highest grade point average in five separate academic disciplines. He went on to become a Rhodes Scholar and traveled to Oxford University in England to study politics, philosophy and economics. While at Oxford, he earned a Bachelor of Arts, a Master of Arts and a Master of Letters. His education continued through study at Army professional schools.
He has spent 22 years at various Army command and staff positions, and served in such countries as the Federal Republic of Germany, the Republic of Vietnam and the Dominican Republic. He's also found time to return to West Point to teach international relations and comparative foreign governments.
His Army career has seen him serve alongside Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger; as commandant of the United States Army War College and as assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was a personal assistant to both Admiral William Crowe, and later, to Gen. Colin Powell.
He routinely participated in Presidential Cabinet meetings on national security issues and was involved in the Malta and Helsinki Presidential Summits. He served alongside Secretary of State James Baker during negotiations regarding such issues as arms control, German reunification, European security arrangements, Arab-Israeli peace initiatives and the diplomatic efforts of Operation Desert Storm.
In 1991 he became superintendent at the U.S. Military Academy. He was in charge of 4,000 students and a support community of approximately 12,000 employees and family members. As superintendent he updated the curriculum, implemented a vast computer information network and administered an annual budget of $300 million.
Most recently, Graves and his wife, Gracie have made their home in Austin, where he was the visiting Tom Slick Professor of World Peace at the University of Texas at Austin's Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. They have two children and five grandchildren.
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