Another record breaking commencement for Texas A&M Galveston

Colonel Michael E. FossumTexas A&M University at Galveston will hold the institution's Spring 2017 Commencement at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 13th at the Galveston Island Convention Center, 5600 Seawall Blvd.  This will be the first commencement ceremony led by Texas A&M Galveston's new Chief Operating Officer, Colonel Michael E. Fossum, former astronaut and a 1980 Texas A&M University graduate.  Fossum took office on March 1 of this year following the retirement of Admiral Robert Smith last year.

Another record of 280 degrees, an 11 percent increase from last spring, are slated to be granted for this commencement that will include 255 Bachelor's degrees, 24 Master's degrees and 1 Doctoral degree.  Officials at the ocean campus of Texas A&M University forecast the numbers of graduates will continue to increase as enrollment numbers continue to climb and academic program offerings grow.

This commencement is part of the largest graduating class in the history of Texas A&M University and it is believed to be the largest graduating class in the state's history.  The Galveston ceremony is part of 14 commencements for over 10,000 students at the Doctoral, Master's and Bachelor's levels at the main campus in College Station as well as the Galveston campus.

Speaking at the Galveston graduation will be Joel Szabat, executive director of the U.S. Maritime Administration and Dr. Michael Benedik, vice provost of Texas A&M University.

To complete the ceremony, the student with the highest grade point average in the class will be observing a Texas A&M Galveston commencement tradition by striking a ship's bell eight times.  This observance is a reflection of the time-honored sea tradition of striking a bell eight times on a ship to acknowledge a change of watch.  Here it recognizes that the current graduating class has achieved their goals and the graduates are embarking on the next stage of their lives.