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2018 Convocation Ceremony Celebrates iSchool Graduates

Smiling students at the University of Texas' 2018 Spring Convocation

With every seat filled by iSchool graduates, their family members and friends, the University of Texas at Austin, School of Information celebrated the graduation of 107 students at its 2018 commencement.

On May 19, the iSchool awarded five Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Information Studies, nine degrees for Master of Science in Identity Management and Security (MSIMS), and 93 degrees for Master of Science in Information Studies (MSIS). Dr. Philip Doty, Associate Dean and Professor, acknowledged the MSIS graduates and PhD graduates from May 2018 and August 2017, while Suzanne Barber, Director of the Center for Identity, acknowledged the MSIMS graduates.

The MSIMS graduates was the first group of students to earn a Master’s degree in Identity Management and Security, and Barber referred to them as “leaders and innovators…critical to our nation and global society.”

Ambassador Carlos González Gutiérrez also assigned power to the new graduates in his commencement address. He stated that regardless of where their degrees led them, they had a responsibility to openness, collaboration, and equality, as well as a responsibility to ensure that technology was used to spread the truth. These new graduates had the opportunity to become agents of positive change by embracing openness.

Citing Octavio Paz, the Ambassador encouraged the graduates to “sow the roots of freedom, equality, and respect” so that future generations could harvest these values more easily and create a more open, diverse, and tolerant society. “Always choose to defend the core values that characterize our countries: freedom, equality, and democracy,” he said. “And in the face of adversity, always choose openness.”

But the iSchool graduates weren’t the only ones recognized at the May 19 convocation. The 2018 commencement ceremony also celebrated Dr. Randolph Bias, Dean and Professor, who received the Distinguished Service Award.

Dr. Bias expressed his gratitude for the award and lauded the new graduates for their great accomplishment. His sentiments carried a similar message to that of the other speakers. The graduates should be proud of their hard work and consider themselves well-equipped to understand how human beings will interact with information. They were information leaders of the next generation.

Dr. Bias congratulated the students for graduating from one of the top five iSchool programs in the nation. “Where would you rather be?” he asked. While graduates from all over campus were celebrating with their respective schools and colleges at the same time as the iSchool convocation, Dr. Bias emphasized how special it was to be celebrating here – not just at The University of Texas at Austin, but at the School of Information –or as the graduates call it, the Texas iSchool.

Aug. 31, 2018