Chancellor Brian McCall Addresses Graduates at the LSC-O Fall 2015 Commencement

Published 5:57 pm Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Honorable Brian McCall, Ph.D., Chancellor of the Texas State University System, served as keynote speaker for the Lamar State College-Orange Fall 2015 Commencement ceremony on December 9 at the Lutcher Theater in Orange. Dr. McCall was named chancellor of TSUS in March of 2010. The Texas State University System is the first university system established in Texas, comprising eight institutions with nearly 83,000 students and 15,000 faculty and staff.

Dr. McCall previously served in the Texas House of Representatives, first elected in 1991 to represent the areas of North Dallas, Frisco, Allen, and Plano. As a representative, he served as chairman of the House Calendars Committee and as a member of the Higher Education Committee. Texas Monthly named McCall one of the “10 Best” legislators of the 2009 session.

McCall wrote and passed one of the largest tax-cut bills in the history of Texas and during his last session secured $5 million in funding for The University of Texas at Dallas’ Center for Values and Medicine. Other legislative accomplishments include authoring and passing key bills in the areas of health care, biotechnology, high technology, identity theft, and tax and budget policy.

McCall serves on the board of Legacy Texas Financial Group (NASDAQ: LTXB) and as chairman of Texas’ Council of Public University Presidents and Chancellors (CPUPC), a position to which he was elected by the state’s 38 public university presidents and six chancellors.

McCall was president of Westminster Capital Corporation, an investment firm focused on acquisitions primarily in software and technology. He and his brother, David, operate Snow Hill Farm north of Dallas.

McCall holds a bachelor’s degree from Baylor University, a master’s degree from Southern Methodist University, spent a year as a visiting post-graduate student at Oxford University, and earned a doctor of philosophy degree from The University of Texas at Dallas.

McCall is the author of The Power of the Texas Governor: Connally to Bush, published by University of Texas Press, which examines how various governors have overcome the institutional limitations of the office to achieve significant political power.

A long-time civic and community volunteer, McCall is founder and chairman of the board of The Empowerment Project, a non-profit organization which has sent more than $10 million worth of math and science books to disadvantaged schools in the Republic of South Africa, and helped construct a library in Vietnam through the Libraries of Love organization. The Empowerment Project also raised more than $350,000 to provide direct support for the medical needs of children in north Texas.

McCall is the recipient of the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award from The University of Texas at Dallas, is a member is The Philosophical Society of Texas, and serves on the Board of Directors of ZACH Theater in Austin.

During the ceremony, conferring a record number of 252 degrees, certificates and institutional awards,

Dr. McCall offered illuminating words of wisdom and counsel in his address to the graduating class. While commending the academic achievements of the candidates, he proposed numerous ideas on how to approach the future, maintain focus and most importantly, the ability to have and show gratitude in all and for all that is given. The administration, faculty, staff, and graduates were deeply grateful to Dr. McCall for attending the ceremony and offering such profound insights.

Seven graduates of Lamar State College-Orange graduated with the designation of summa cum laude, with “highest honors.”  Summa cum laude designation includes those students with grade point averages of 3.8 to 4.0.  The students with this designation were Anthony Noble Dixon, Nathan Douglas Marshall, Angela Renee Randall, Cody Leland Richard, Mason Paul Davis, Ronnie Jade Perkins, and Connor Bryce Jaynes.

Magna cum laude, or “high honors” designation, is awarded to graduates who earn GPAs of 3.65 to 3.79. The two students receiving this recognition were Stephanie Gay Labelle and Kaylyn Shelvin Willridge.

Fourteen students graduated cum laude, or with “honors” designation, with GPAs of 3.50 to 3.64. The students with this honor were Robbie Denise Gilmore, Lexis Dajon Perry, Cheryl Ann Kizer, Karissa Rene’ Kordish, Christopher James Flowers, Caleb Anthony Spruell, Larissa Michelle Bass, Adriana G Torres, Jordan Adams Schamber, Lan Thi Pham, Charles Henry Phillips, Michaela Jillian McNeil, Robert Paul Daugherty, and Laura Kay Benoit.

Graduates are listed below according to hometown and degree earned:

Associate of Arts Degree:

Orange: Rosemary Deanna Dryman, Heather Lynn Biggs Ivey, Emilee Michelle Yaw, teaching 1; Michaela Jillian McNeil, teaching 2.

Vidor: Devon Marie Smith Pattarozzi, Angela Renee Kirkpatrick Randall, teaching 1; Dusti Dene’ Lummus Hussey, teaching 2.

Vinton, LA: Jessie Lynn Tharp Lucas, teaching 1.

Associate of Science Degree:

Bridge City: Shandi Brooke Conner, business; Charles Kristofer Wedekind, liberal arts.

Orange: Phuong Hayen Pham, Rhonda Lucinda Eaves Smith, Joshua Tyler Wright, and Cindy Kaye Wyles, business; Meghan L. Toney, communications; Anthony Craig Daniel, Wyndi Rachele Metts Odom, Ronnie Jade Perkins, criminal justice; Jennifer Lynn Hinson, Melina Jacqueline Ledezma-Gomez, Amanda Kate Geldard McGee, and Charles Lee Wilson, liberal arts; James Q. Ingram, Jordan Taylor Pachuca,natural science; Wyndi Rachele Metts Odom, sociology.
Vidor: Cheryl A. Vander Kizer, business; Brianna Leigh Howlett, Cody Alan Riley, and
Shawn Eugene Sharpe, liberal arts; Billie Sue Linder, natural science.

 Associate of Applied Science Degree:

Bridge City: Cassie Rae Carr, medical office professional; William Russell Chandler, Mason Paul Davis, Caleb Anthony Spruell, and Quoc Tran, process operating technology.

Deweyville: Robert Paul Daugherty, process operating technology.

Orange: Ashley Nicole Atkeson, Meghan Kelsey Brister, and Crystole Rochelle Collins Gardner, business management; Anthony Noble Dixon, information technology support specialist; Jessica Craven Goodwin, Misty Carrol Young Guillot, and Brenda Kay Palermo Withers, medical office professional; Vajanzo Keith Allen, Joseph Clayton Biship, Michael C. Cascio, Jennifer Kay Johnson Corrao, Paul Wayne Crochett, Jr., William Earl Gill, Torye Marie Harrison, Connor Bryce Jaynes, Ryan Richard LeBouef, John Anthony Moore, Charles Henry Phillips, Cody Leland Richard, and Shawn David Williams, process operating technology; Kimberly White Ainsworth, Christy Lynn Hudnall Ford, Robbie Denise Gilmore, Chloe Michelle Fragstein Howard, Miranda Pence Ruffin, and Holly Diane Simpson, upward mobility nursing.

Starks, LA: Matthew Garrett Pevoto, business management; Larissa Michelle Bass, upward mobility nursing.

Sulphur, LA: Lana Kay Hoffpauir Benoit, Ashley Renee’ Guillory, and Brent Wayne Newman, upward mobility nursing.

Vidor: Eric Wade Simon, Upward Mobility Nursing, Kristen Sheene LaFleur, Audrey Katherine Pantely, process operating technology.

Vinton, LA: Shaun Patrick Trahan, process operating technology; Kristin Denee’ Horn, upward mobility nursing.

Certificates of Completion:

Bridge City: Donna Rene’ Jones, business management accounting; Gloria Faye Barnhart, medical office assistant; Cassie Rae Carr, medical administrative assistant and medical office assistant; Karissa Rene Kordish, Lan Thi Pham, Victoria Lynn Saucier, Jordan Adams Schamber, and Adriana Torres, vocational nursing.
Evadale: Haleigh M. Conner, vocational nursing.

Orange: Ashley Nicole Atkeson and Meghan Kelsey Brister, business management accounting; Anthony Noble Dixon, cisco networking specialist, information technology support assistant networking/hardware and software; Wyndi Rachele Metts Odom and Ronnie Jade Perkins, criminal justice and criminal justice corrections; Ashlyn Marie Edwards, Blayne Ashlee Fountain, and Arabian Marie Robertson, dental assisting; Ashley Nicole Atkeson, entrepreneurship; Evan P. Guidry, general studies; James Hunter Schrieber, instrumentation; Misty Carrol Young Guillot, medical administrative assistant, medical office assistant, and medical transcriptionist; Terry Ann Workman Gill, medical office assistant; Jessica Craven Goodwin, medical administrative assistant, Brenda Kay Palermo Withers, medical administrative assistant and medical office assistant; Erin Taylor Jacobs and Nathan Douglas Marshall, pharmacy technology; Ty Aaron Johnson, Ty Aaron Johnson, process technology; Torye Marie Harrison and Angela M. Granger Wilson, safety, health & environment; Mst N. Akhter, Kimberly Michelle Miller Arrington, Amber Lee’ann Kelley Burgan, Selina Louise Garza, Bridget Faye Gallander Marceaux, Jonathan Owen McCollum, Delana G. Johnson Odom, and Angela Mae Plaisance-Brown, vocational nursing.

Starks LA: Matthew Garrett Pevoto, business management accounting.

Sulphur, LA: Tara Lynette Hawkins-Collins, vocational nursing.

Vidor: Destiny Alexis Chandler, general studies; Courtney Marie Jenkins Blanchard, Mallorie Kay Jordan, Jessica N. Miller, Stacey Elizabeth Post, Jewell Annette Williamson Stanley, vocational nursing.

Vinton, LA: Michelle Janee’ Jordan and Victoria Paige Leach, vocational nursing.

 Institutional Award:

Bridge City: Cassie Rae Carr, customer service; Gloria Faye Barnhart, medical office receptionist.

Orange: Meghan Kelsey Brister, customer service; Misty Carrol Young Guillot, customer service and medical office receptionist; Olivia Leigh Kessel and Cynthia Ann Fezia Warnell, medical office receptionist.

Starks, LA: Matthew Garrett Pevoto, customer service.