Nearly 900 Graduates Receive Diplomas at Spring Commencement

Published: May 20, 2013

Nearly 900 Graduates Receive Diplomas at Spring Commencement

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Approximately 900 students representing Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s five colleges received their diplomas during two spring 2013 commencement ceremonies held Saturday, May 18, in the American Bank Center arena.

      The following were highlights from the two ceremonies:

  • 2nd Lt. Joel Barba successfully completed the Islander Battalion ROTC. He earned the Distinguished Military Graduate (DMG) recognition, only the second to be awarded in Islander Battalion history since 2006. He was presented with the U.S. Military saber for this earning this recognition. DMGs must possess outstanding qualities of leadership, high moral character, and standing in the top 10 percent of the entire national ROTC graduating class. Barba received his Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a Minor in History.


  • Dr. Moustafa Abdelsamad, Dean of the College of Business, participated in the ceremonies. This was his last graduation ceremony as Dean of the College of Business. He has chosen to return to teaching after serving as Dean for 22 years.


  • Melody O’Connor, who is in Rota, Spain, graduated with an Master of Science in Nursing in the Family Nurse Practitioner Program. O’Connor, who recently had a baby, is active duty Navy, and completed the University BSN program. Although she has met all graduation requirements, she will not return to the states until summer.


         The keynote speaker was Corpus Christi Mayor Nelda Martinez. Her speech included how Texas A&M-Corpus Christi graduates will add to the economic growth of the Coastal Bend, helping to fill 65,000 jobs in the region within the next five years.  


  • The first ceremony included an estimated 416 graduates from the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Science and Engineering.


  • The second ceremony included an estimated 469 graduates from the College of Business, the College of Education, and the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.


Martinez, who was elected the first Hispanic, female mayor in November 2012, has owned several successful businesses in the Coastal Bend since 1993. That same year, she founded First American Closing Office. She is currently President and Owner of Adlen Enterprises.