Bonilla Speaker at Saturday's Summer Commencement at TAMIU

United States Congressman Henry Bonilla will serve as commencement speaker for the Summer Commencement Exercises at Texas A&M International University Saturday, Aug. 10, at 8 a.m. on the front lawn of the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library.

128 candidates for graduation will participate in ceremonies for baccalaureate and graduate degrees. In the event of inclement weather, the event will be moved to the University's Kinesiology-Convocation Building.

Congressman Bonilla was elected in 1992 as the first Hispanic Republican elected to Congress from Texas. The 23rd District is the largest Congressional district in Texas, accounting for 22.3 percent of the total square miles in the state. It is larger than every state east of the Mississippi and covers two time zones.

From his first term, Bonilla was chosen to serve on the House Appropriations and currently serves as chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture. He is also a member of the Subcommittee on Defense, and the Subcommittee on Foreign Operations

Born in San Antonio, he attended South San Antonio High School and earned a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1976.

The majority of his professional career has been in television news. He started as a reporter in San Antonio, later becoming a producer for WABC, the flagship station of the ABC network, in New York, then assistant news director for WTAF in Philadelphia, returning to KENS-TV in San Antonio in 1986 as executive producer/news. In 1989, he assumed the role of executive producer for public affairs at KENS, a position that involved heading up civic and community projects on behalf of the television station.

Selected by then-Governor George W. Bush and the Republican National Committee (RNC) to serve as one of three co-chairmen of the 2000 Republican National Convention, he emceed the week-long national televised event, delivered major speeches and oversaw the formal nomination of Governor Bush. In addition to his role as co-chair, he was tapped as an adviser to Bush's campaign and co-chairman of the RNC's Victory 2000 effort.

Bonilla is 48 years old and married to Deborah Knapp Bonilla.

They have two children, Alicia, age 16 and Austin, age 13.

For additional information on Summer Commencement Exercises at TAMIU, please call the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at 326.2180, email or visit offices in the Killam Library, Room 268.

University office hours are from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at