It was the end of the college era, but the beginning of a new career and a bright future as 374 students received degrees from Texas A&M University-Kingsville during two winter commencement ceremonies held Friday in the Steinke Physical Education Center.

There were 236 bachelor's degrees, 140 master's degrees and six doctoral degrees given. Eight students received two degree each. Three received both bachelor's and master's degrees while the other five received two bachelor's degrees.

The keynote speaker for both ceremonies was David Sabrio, Regents Professor of English in the department of language and literature at TAMUK. He is in his 26th year at the university. Sabrio was recently named the 11th Regents Professor at A&M-Kingsville by the Board of Regents of The Texas A&M University System.

He teaches first-year composition, sophomore literature and upper-level and graduate courses in the English Renaissance, Shakespeare and Research Methods. Sabrio has led cooperative learning workshops in Texas, Colorado, Mississippi, California and Montreal.

While at A&M-Kingsville, Sabrio has received the Hall Teaching Award and the Arts and Sciences Teaching Award. He is co-author of Insightful Writing, a first-year composition textbook used at over twenty college campuses across the United States. He has published articles and presented over 55 papers at international, national, regional and state conferences in the areas of rhetoric/composition, literature and pedagogy.

He was selected to give the Texas A&M-Kingsville Annual Faculty Lecture in 1994, and was twice selected to participate in advanced study at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. Sabrio has served as chair of the language and literature department, graduate English coordinator and first-year composition coordinator. He has directed 21 master's theses.

The majority of the members of the winter class of 2009 were from Texas with 283 from the Lone Star State. Nine were from other states and 82 were from other countries when they entered the university. The most frequent county of origin was Kleberg with 50, Nueces with 43, Hidalgo with 41, Jim Wells with 24 and Bexar with 16.

Fifty-five percent of the graduating students were minorities and 46 percent of the class was female.

Of the bachelor's graduates, 52 percent entered the university as first-time freshmen while the remaining 48 percent were transfer students. The average age of those receiving bachelor's degrees was 25. The average age of a master's graduate was 29 and the average age of the doctoral students was 43.

For bachelor's degree recipients, the College of Arts and Sciences led the way with 110 graduates. It was followed by the Frank H. Dotterweich College of Engineering with 45. Rounding out the list was the College of Business Administration with 30, the Dick and Mary Lewis Kleberg College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences with 29; the College of Education with 19; and University College with three.

Eight of the graduates were university employees with five receiving bachelor's degrees, two awarded master's degrees and one earning a doctoral degree.

Local TAMUK Fall 2009 graduates

Bishop

Robert Martin Davila, Bachelor of Business Administration Sara Joy Flores, Bachelor of Fine Arts Lydia Landin, Master of Education Michelle Lynn Small, Bachelor of Science Ian Ross Walker, summa cum laude, Bachelor of Science

Corpus Christi

James Cooper Addison, Master of Science Franco Enrique Barajas, magna cum laude, Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Ada M. Besinaiz, Doctor of Education Brittany Nichole Blackmon, Bachelor of Arts Manuel Alfredo Castro, summa cum laude, Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences Stephen C. Cerny, Bachelor of Science Michael John Doster Jr., cum laude, Bachelor of Music Michael Esparza Jr., Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Azhley Dyann Guardiola, Bachelor of Science Jason Lee Justice, Bachelor of Science Jacqueline Emily Kent, cum laude, Bachelor of Science Marcus Kipp Layton Jr., Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Wayne Gerald Nobbie, Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Angela Jean Palacios, cum laude, Bachelor of Arts Robert Reagan Paschal, Bachelor of Science Jesse Wyatt Patterson, Bachelor of Business Administration Sarah Diane Pohlers, summa cum laude, Bachelor of Science Dallas J. Rees, Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Lisa Ramon Rodriguez, Master of Science Sasha Rodriguez, Bachelor of Arts Natalie Marie Salinas, Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering Breanne Nicole Seward, Bachelor of Science Florence Garcia Tiller, Master of Science Aaron Rene Uresti Jr., Bachelor of Science Yezenia Venecia, Bachelor of Science Justin Kirk Yaklin, summa cum laude, Bachelor of Business Administration

Robstown

Katrina Marie Alejandro, Bachelor of Arts Francisco Javier Bayardo, Master of Science Spencer William Kirksmith, magna cum laude, Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Jose Alfredo Martinez, magna cum laude, Bachelor of Science Israel Mendoza Jr., Bachelor of Business Administration William Lloyd Moore, Bachelor of Science Nathan Andrew Rachui, Bachelor of Science