Dr. Dana Cooper and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz

Left to right: Dr. Dana Cooper and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and Stephen F. Austin State University's Faculty Senate chair, Dr. Dana Cooper, are scheduled to offer the commencement addresses during spring graduation ceremonies Saturday, May 10, in William R. Johnson Coliseum.

Cruz was elected in 2012 as the 34th U.S. senator from Texas. The son of a Cuban immigrant, Cruz's first-hand observation of the pursuit of freedom and opportunity in America inspired him to become a passionate fighter for limited government, economic growth and the Constitution. He graduated with honors from both Princeton University and Harvard Law School.

Cruz was the first Hispanic law clerk to serve a chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, aiding William Rehnquist. He also was the nation's youngest, longest-serving and first Hispanic solicitor general of Texas. He has authored more than 80 U.S. Supreme Court briefs and made more than 40 oral arguments, including nine before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Cooper, an associate professor of history, earned her bachelor's degree from Angelo State University, master's degree from Texas Tech University, and doctorate and graduate certificate in women's studies from Texas Christian University. She is a past recipient of an SFA Teaching Excellence Award and recently was elected president of the Texas Council of Faculty Senates.

Cooper's publications include several articles and a co-edited book, "Transatlantic Relations and Modern Diplomacy." Forthcoming works include a second co-edited work, "Motherhood and War: International Perspectives," and "Informal Ambassadors: American Women, Transatlantic Marriages and Anglo-American Relations 1865-1945." Cooper has presented more than a dozen papers at national and international conferences, including venues in Canada, The Netherlands, England, Germany and Austria.

Commencement exercises will be split into two ceremonies. Cooper will provide the commencement address at the 9:30 a.m. ceremony, and Cruz will speak at the 2 p.m. ceremony.

Graduates from SFA's James I. Perkins College of Education and College of Fine Arts will participate in the 9:30 a.m. ceremony. Candidates from the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, the Nelson Rusche College of Business, the College of Liberal and Applied Arts, and the College of Sciences and Mathematics will participate in the 2 p.m. ceremony. Master's and doctoral candidates will graduate with their respective colleges.

An estimated record-breaking 1,376 degrees will be awarded, with two being presented posthumously. Approximately, 1,062 bachelor's degrees, 305 master's degrees and nine doctoral degrees will be bestowed. More than 260 students will graduate with honors, including 124 cum laude, 63 magna cum laude and 77 summa cum laude.