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Commencement Speakers

With more than three decades of service, husband and wife Drs. Walter and Aileen Bumphus have established unprecedented leadership in education.

Their distinguished careers span a variety of roles including primary school and college administrator, college president, and system chancellor.

"We both have an interest and desire in furthering the education of those coming behind us," says Aileen. “Walter will do whatever it takes to make sure there are opportunities for those who traditionally don't think education is for them.”

Dr. Walter Bumphus currently is president and CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), and Dr. Aileen Bumphus serves as executive director of the University of Texas at Austin’s Longhorn Center for Academic Excellence Gateway Scholars Program.

Before assuming the presidency of AACC, Dr. Walter Bumphus was a professor in the Community College Leadership Program and chair of the Department of Educational Administration at UT-Austin. He served as president of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, chancellor of Baton Rouge Community College, and president of Brookhaven College in Dallas County Community College District.

Dr. Walter Bumphus holds the distinction of being one of the few leaders in the field of education to receive the Marie Y. Martin CEO of the Year award from the Association of Community College Trustees, to chair the AACC Board of Directors, and to receive the AACC Leadership award.

During her career, Dr. Aileen Bumphus has worked as a university instructor and a public school speech pathologist, special education team leader, and language development teacher. She also has served as an elementary school principal and was selected to receive the UT-Austin Enrique Romo Staff Excellence award in 2009.

As a first-generation college student, Dr. Aileen Bumphus understands firsthand the challenges facing many college students. She is designing programs to maximize the academic success and social connections of new first-generation and underrepresented students at UT-Austin.


Past commencement speakers

  • 2014 (Fall) Victor Hwang, Executive Director of the Global Innovation Summit
  • 2014 (Spring) Dr. Dan Arvizu, Director & Chief Executive of National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • 2013 (Fall) Ben Barnes, Former Lieutenant Governor of Texas
  • 2013 (Spring) Andres Alcantar, Texas Workforce Commission Chairman
  • 2012 (Fall) Wilhelmina Delco, Former Texas State Representative, founding member, ACC Board of Trustees, and Dr. Exalton Delco, Former ACC Vice-President, Academic Affairs
  • 2012 (Spring) Dr. John Roueche, UT-Austin Community College Leadership Program, and Dr. Suanne Roueche, Editor, NISOD Publications, Senior Lecturer, College of Education, UT-Austin
  • 2011 Kirk Watson, Texas State Senator
  • 2010 Dr. Belle S. Wheelan, President, Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of College and Schools
  • 2009 Wilhelmina Delco, Former Texas State Representative, founding member, ACC Board of Trustees
  • 2008 Donna Howard, Texas State Representative
  • 2007 Mark Strama, Texas State Representative
  • 2006 Richard Oppel, Editor, Austin American Statesman
  • 2005 Toby Hammett Futrell, City Manager, City of Austin
  • 2004 Gustavo Garcia Austin Mayor
  • 2003 Reynaldo Garcia, Executive Director, Texas Association of Community Colleges
  • 2002 Della May Moore, Outgoing Board of Trustees member
  • 2001 Carole Keeton Rylander, State Comptroller
  • 2000 Will Davis, Founding Member, ACC Board of Trustees
  • 1999 Kirk P. Watson, Mayor, City of Austin
  • 1998 Congressman Lloyd Doggett, U.S. House of Representatives, District 10
  • 1997 Dr. Richard Fonte, President, ACC
  • 1996 Barry Waite, Senior Vice-President Motorola
  • 1995 Dr. Donald G. Phelps, W.K. Kellogg Regents Professor, UT
  • 1994 Dr. Bill Segura, President, ACC
  • 1993 Dr. Charles A. Green, Chancellor, Houston Community College System
  • 1992 Dr. Manuel J. Justiz, A.M. Aikin Regents Chair in Education Leadership, UT
  • 1991 Rod A. Risley, Executive Director, Phi Theta Kappa
  • 1990 Lawrence Williford, Sr. VP Corporate Relations, Allstate Insurance Company
  • 1989 Hon. Parker McCollough, Texas House of Representatives
  • 1988 Larry Jenkins, VP, Lockheed Missiles and Space Company
  • 1987 Dr. William H. Pickens, Executive Director, California Postsecondary Higher Education Commission
  • 1986 Gonzalo Barrientos, State Senator, District 14
  • 1985 Dr. Dan Angell, President, ACC
  • 1984 Dr. Lorrin Kennamer, Dean, College of Education, UT
  • 1983 Raymond Bynum, Commissioner, Texas Education Agency
  • 1982 J. J. Pickle, Congressman, 10th Congressional District
  • 1981 Br. Stephen Wlash, President, St. Edward’s University
  • 1980 Dr. Kenneth Ashworth, Commissioner THECB
  • 1979 Wilhelmina Delco, State Representative District 37-D
  • 1978 Carole McClellan, Mayor, City of Austin
  • 1977 Lloyd Doggett, Member, Texas Senate
  • 1976 Jimmy Snell, Mayor Pro Tempore, City of Austin
  • 1975 Gonzalo Barrientos, Texas House of Representatives
  • 1974 C.C. Colvert, Professor Emeritus, Community College Education, UT
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