News Release Library
May 3, 2012

St. Edward's University Commencement 2012 Presents 893 Degrees, Live Video Viewing and Hilltop Send-Off

St. Edward's University will hold its 126th commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 12, at the Frank Erwin Center, 1701 Red River Street. This year’s event features a renowned international human rights advocate delivering the keynote address, live online video viewing of the commencement ceremony, plus a new graduation-eve celebration on campus.

United Nations Award Recipient to Speak at Commencement         

Ambassador Sonia Picado Sotela, chair of the United Nations Advisory Board on Human Security, will deliver the keynote address.

Ambassador Picado holds a Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Costa Rica. She was the first woman elected dean of a law school in Latin America, has taught at universities worldwide and served as the Costa Rican Ambassador to the U.S.

Ambassador Picado is the president of the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights, whose mission is to “promote education as the key to a democratic future.” She has served as judge and vice-chair of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. She is a former member of the Costa Rican Legislative Assembly and the former president of Costa Rica’s National Liberation Party. Her many honors include the United Nations Human Rights Award in recognition of her work in Latin America.

A Glimpse of the May 2012 Graduates

St. Edward's University officials will confer approximately 893 degrees this spring. Degree distribution is as follows:

Traditional Undergraduates                600

New College Undergraduates             216

Graduate                                         125

Total                                               893

Ann Clare Tally-Foos will deliver the valedictory address. A double major in History and Religious Studies, Ann Clare is a member of the university’s Honors Program and has consistently been on the Dean’s List. She is one of the winners of the Outstanding Graduating Seniors in Religious and Theological Studies Award.

Marett Elyssabeth Hanes, commencement vocalist, will lead the audience in the National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance. A Theater Arts major, Marett is a member of the Honors Program, has been on the Dean’s List and is a recipient of the Outstanding Honors Senior Thesis Award.

Hilltop Send-Off: A Celebration for 2012 Graduates, Friday, May 11

On the eve of graduation, St. Edward’s University invites all 2012 May and August graduates, and their families and friends to participate in the Hilltop Send-Off. This special event held on campus recognizes the achievements of our graduating seniors and welcomes them as new alumni.

The Hilltop Send-Off will begin with Baccalaureate Mass to be celebrated in the Recreation and Convocation Center at 7 p.m. St. Edward’s is honored to have Most Reverend Joe S. Vásquez, DD, STL, Bishop of the Diocese of Austin preside.

Following Baccalaureate Mass, graduates will participate in a Legacy Walk at 8:30 p.m. The Legacy Walk will take them through the heart of campus and the historic red doors of Main Building, symbolizing the completion of their academic careers and entry into the St. Edward’s alumni community. Family and friends are invited to await the graduates’ arrival as they exit the red doors of Main Building.

The Hilltop Send-Off culminates with the Red Doors Revelry at 9 p.m. — a festive outdoor reception on Trustee Hall Lawn. Participants will enjoy a Champagne toast and the downtown night skyline. Graduates will receive a special gift from the Alumni Office and have the opportunity to connect with their classmates and professors. There will be designated meet-up areas for each school.

Important Parking Information

Traffic will be congested and parking will be more challenging that morning due to the U.I.L. State Track and Field meet at Mike A. Meyers Stadium, which is one half-mile north of the Erwin Center. Plan on getting to commencement early if possible. Doors open at 9 a.m. Also, there will be a $12 per vehicle fee in parking lots. The City of Austin charges for meter parking on Saturdays. Credit cards accepted.

Graduation Day Information for Students and Parents
Graduates should plan to meet at the Frank Erwin Center in the Lone Star Room between 9 and 9:15 a.m. Use the Red River Street entrance and follow the signs to the Lone Star Room for lining up. Ushers will be available to direct the graduates. At 9:15 a.m., graduates will start assembling into ranks.

The Red River Street entrance is available only to graduates, faculty members and mobility impaired guests. All other guests should enter the Frank Erwin Center through the public entrances only, which can be accessed by taking the northwest ramp or the southwest ramp from the street level. Doors open at 9 a.m. 

Only graduates and faculty members will be seated in the chairs on the floor. Guests in wheelchairs should enter through the Red River Street entrance where ushers will direct them to the elevator which will take them to mobility impaired seating located on the back row of the Arena Level.

After the ceremony, graduates should arrange to meet with their family and friends outside the Frank Erwin Center on the north end by the flagpoles.

Parking map for graduates and their guests. (PDF)

Watch Commencement Live Online

A live video of the St. Edward’s University 126th Commencement will be available online. Family and friends of the graduates may begin viewing at 9:45 a.m. CDT on Saturday, May 12. There will be no charge for viewing the commencement ceremony and registration is not required. Select “watch” to view the video. For your convenience, the commencement video will be archived and available for future viewing under the “on demand” tab.