Nearly 1,200 to participate in UHCL graduation ceremonies

Nearly 1,200 University of Houston-Clear Lake students are receiving diplomas in two commencement ceremonies on Dec. 11 in NRG Arena at 1 NRG Park, Houston.

At noon, more than 520 students will graduate from the College of Education and College of Science and Engineering. At 5 p.m., nearly 650 students will graduate from the College of Business and the College of Human Sciences and Humanities.

Students participating in the ceremonies include about 1,000 fall graduates and about 200 summer graduates. Of these, 626 are undergrads, 546 will receive their master’s degrees and 11 will be conferred doctorates.

Commencement speakers are UHCL alumni Evelyn C. Miralles and Kenneth R. Koncaba. Miralles, principal engineer/innovator and business-technology strategist for NASA contractor CACI International, will speak at the noon ceremony. Koncaba, CEO of Houston-based Texan Bank, will speak in the 5 p.m. ceremony.

Miralles was recently chosen as “one of the most inspirational women in the world” for 2016 by the BBC, which each year profiles 100 influential women in its programming. For more than 24 years, Miralles has dedicated her career to the advancement of human spaceflight and virtual-reality technology, training astronauts in Johnson Space Center’s Virtual Reality Laboratory at Johnson Space Center. Named one of CNET en Español’s 20 most influential Latinos in technology for 2015, she lends her experience and knowledge to the field of virtual reality on a national level.

Before joining Texan Bank in 2011, Koncaba served as chairman, CEO and president of Family Bancorp Inc., and its subsidiary bank, now known as Vantage Bank of Texas. His career in banking has included serving as director, president and chief operating officer at both FC Holdings Inc. and its subsidiary bank, First Community Bank, N.A., in Houston and chairman and CEO of San Antonio National Bank. From 2012-2015, Koncaba served as co-founder and manager of Friendswood Energy Genco LLC. Also, he has served as founding director and CEO of Friendswood Capital Corp. since 2010 as well as director of ICON Wellness Center since 2012.

Guests do not need tickets to attend the commencement ceremony, and students may invite as many guests as they like. Seating for guests will be first-come, first-served.

A total of 1,455 UHCL students completed degree programs in summer and fall sessions, with 1,183 participating in the ceremonies.

Graduating students are also invited to Soaring Hawks Celebration, a social event 6-8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 9. The event will feature a photo booth, refreshments and the chance to celebrate with university alumni, faculty and leaders, including UHCL President William A. Staples. Soaring Hawks Celebration is free, but tickets are required and may be picked up from the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, Capt. Wendell M. Wilson Office of Veteran Services and Office of Student Life. Soaring Hawk Celebration will be on the UH-Clear Lake campus at Bayou Building, Atrium II, 2700 Bay Area Blvd., Houston. For more information on Soaring Hawks Celebration, contact the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, 281-283-2021 or [email protected].

To find out more about commencement, visit

University of Houston-Clear Lake offers more than 80 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, and three doctoral programs, from its four schools, which include the School of Business, School of Education, School of Human Sciences and Humanities, and School of Science and Computer Engineering. In 2011, the university gained approval from the state to add freshman- and sophomore-level courses to its roster and welcomed its first freshman class in fall 2014. For more information about the university, visit

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