The iSchool's 2013 Convocation, held on May 18 in the AT&T Conference Center Amphitheatre, honored our graduates from Spring 2013, August 2012 and December 2012. Guest speaker Ambassador Sichan Siv addressed the audience with the compelling tale of his incredible journey to success - and what most would term the quintessential American dream. After escaping the Khmer Rouge labor camps of his native Cambodia, Siv came to America and eventually embarked on a political career that included serving in two administrations as a Presidential Deputy Assistant and the first Asian American Deputy Assistant Secretary of State. "This is one of the most distinguished speakers that the school has ever engaged for commencement," said Dean Andrew Dillon, "and we're thrilled that he was kind enough to accept the invitation. Many people who have heard Ambassador Siv speak on other occasions refer to him as one of the most inspirational and riveting speakers they've ever encountered."
Many people who have heard Ambassador Siv speak on other occasions refer to him as one of the most inspirational and riveting speakers they've ever encountered. - Dean Andrew Dillon
Unanimously confirmed by the Senate, Siv was appointed in 2001 as US Ambassador to the United Nations, a position he held until 2006. In addition to being an international global affairs advisor and motivational speaker, Siv also is a renowned author. He wrote, over a period of 30 years, the international bestselling memoir "Golden Bones" and penned a book of poetry entitled "Golden Words." The iSchool was also honored to have, as our special guest, alumna Martha Patillo Siv (MLS '70.) Martha is not only a graduate of the iSchool, but also of the UT Plan II Honors program and is the wife of Ambassador Siv.
Following the Convocation ceremony, the students and faculty processed out of the amphitheater, following the traditional bagpiper. A reception was held in the AT&T Tejas Room, overlooking the UT Tower and site for the evening ceremonies. After many photos, autographs by the Ambassador, and a repast of light appetizers and wine, the students and faculty marshals walked together to the South Mall for the Grand Procession of the University's 130th Spring Commencement. Congratulations to all of our new graduates and welcome to the iSchool alumni world!