The 148 candidates for graduation at Texas A&M International University Summer Commencement Exercises will bid farewell to outgoing University President Dr. Charles Jennett as he takes center stage Saturday, Aug. 11 to offer the commencement address.
Dr. Jennett will speak at 9 a.m. in the University's Kinesiology-Convocation Building.
Dr. Jennett, who became the fourth president of A&M International in 1996, will retire from the University at the end of August.
Under his presidency, the University has experienced crucial milestones such as the funding or construction of the campus' Phase III and Phase IV. Most recently, the University has been the recipient of State and federal awards of $4.2 million, which will revolutionize its student services offerings.
In addition, over 90 percent of the major gifts to the University and over $12.5 million in endowment have been secured during his five years in office.
Enrollment has also grown 13.6 percent and sponsored research has seen a 300 percent increase, from $349,000 to over $3.4 million. The University has also been named one of the top 100 universities for Hispanic students.
Also, new degrees in 17 disciplines were added under his presidency. The launching of the independently funded D.D. Hachar Honors Program has provided the area's first four-year honors program.
Prior to joining A&M International, Jennett was Provost and Vice president for Academic Affairs at Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina.
Before Clemson, he served as professor and chairman of the Civil Engineering Department at Syracuse University and associate professor of civil engineering at the University of Missouri-Rolla.
He received his Ph.D. in environmental and water resources engineering from the University of New Mexico and earned master's and bachelor's degrees in civil engineering from Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
A widely published scholar, he is the coauthor of several chapters in academic textbooks on water resources engineering and many major journal articles.
An admired teacher and professional, Jennett has been selected in recent years as the "Outstanding Educator of the Year" and the "Outstanding Engineer of the Year" by the South Carolina Society of Professional Engineers and the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers. He also has been named an "Outstanding Alumnus" of the University of New Mexico.
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