CTX Commencement Day

Congratulations to our graduating Tornados! We knew you could do it!

You can practically hear the familiar tune of “Pomp and Circumstance,” at this point, and we are eager to watch you turn the tassel. But what if your loved ones can’t make it to commencement? Does that mean they have to miss out on this major milestone in your life?

Fear not! They can still watch commencement anywhere they have an internet connection via livestream on the Concordia Facebook page.

Spring 2019 Commencement Speaker: Stephen M. Strakowski, MD

Strakowski HeadshotStephen M. Strakowski, MD, is Associate Vice President, Regional Mental Health and the Founding Chair of Psychiatry at the Dell Medical School, University of Texas in Austin. As Chair, Dr. Strakowski leads the development of improved mental health care delivery, education and research strategies to improve access and quality of treatment for people suffering from mental illness, and currently leading a redesign of mental health services for 75 counties in Texas served by the Austin State Hospital.

Previously, he spent 24 years at the University of Cincinnati/UC Health where he served as Senior Vice President of Strategy and Transformation, and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, Psychology and Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Strakowski graduated summa cum laude from the University of Notre Dame with a BSE in 1984 and alpha omega alpha from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine with an MD in 1988.

Upon completing residency, he moved to the University of Cincinnati where he remained until moving to Austin in 2016. Dr. Strakowski is an internationally recognized and trusted expert in the study and treatment of bipolar and other mood disorders and a national leader addressing health disparities in the U.S., specifically in the problem of misdiagnosis of African Americans with schizophrenia.

In his current research efforts, he is innovating new care models for teens and young adults with mood disorders. He has published more than 300 manuscripts, letters, books and book chapters, and has received numerous awards for this work.  He and his wife Stacy, who teaches voice at the University of Texas Austin, are members of Riverbend Church.

Commencement Service Fast Facts

  • The service generally lasts between 1.5 to 2 hours.
  • Tickets are not required to attend the commencement service.
  • Commencement services will begin at 9:00 a.m and, if a second service is required, at 1:00 p.m. The doors to the sanctuary will open to guests one hour prior to the service.
  • Participating students should arrive to the designated gathering area no later than 45 minutes prior to the service.
  • Food and drink are not permitted in the sanctuary.
  • Guests are asked to find their seats before the service begins out of respect for our graduates.
  • Guests are welcome to take photos from their seats. However, guests should not stand in the aisles or block other guests' view.
  • Only official photographers will be permitted around the stage area or in the commencement photographer backdrop area.
  • Guests are asked not to hinder the progress of graduates in any way during the service.
  • Any group photographs should be taken prior to or after the service.
  • Disruptive behavior will result in removal from the service.
  • As a courtesy to our graduates, guests are asked to remain in their seats after the service until the Stage Party and graduates recess and fully exit the hall.

Photography During the Service

Guests are understandably proud of the accomplishments celebrated here. While they are more than welcome to take photographs from their seats during the service, guests should not stand in the aisles or block other guests view. Only official photographers will be permitted around the stage area or in the official photographer backdrop area.

Two pictures of each graduate will be taken by a professional photographer from Flash Photography. One photo is of the student as they shake hands with Dr. Donald Christian, CEO on stage, and the other is an individual picture taken in front of a backdrop after the student leaves the stage. Flash Photography will then contact the student to purchase photos if they wish.

Guests should not hinder the progress of graduates in any way during the service. Any group photographs should be taken prior to or after the service.

Students or Guests with Special Needs

The wheelchair entrance to Riverbend Centre is on the east side of the building (the right side of the building as you view it from Loop 360).

There is generally ample wheelchair seating in the sanctuary. Requests for any other special needs accommodation should be emailed to Student Central at studentcentral@concordia.edu. Please contact us with any requests no later than 6 weeks prior to commencement.

Arrival and Parking

Guests and visitors may park in the parking lots adjacent to the sanctuary where the commencement service will be held. Concordia personnel will be stationed throughout the lot to guide you as you park and to assist with directions. Parking is limited, so please carpool whenever possible.

The Commencement Program

The Commencement program lists the names of all eligible candidates as provided by the Office of Student Registration and Records at the time of publication. The inclusion or exclusion of a name in the program does not indicate completion or non-completion of degree requirements.

Honors at Commencement

Four-year undergraduate students are eligible for graduation with Latin Honors from the university. Latin Honors at commencement and honor cord eligibility are determined using the GPA earned by the student by end of the term preceding the commencement service. Undergraduate students must also meet the sixty (60) hour residency requirement by the end of their final term. A student's final GPA and appropriate Latin Honors will be posted on their final official transcript.

Undergraduate students who have earned a Latin Honors status will be noted in the program with an asterisk by their name and will receive an honor cord from the university. If they are a member of a university recognized honor society, they are welcome to wear any additional honors regalia offered by their honor society.

Graduate students who are members of a university recognized honor society can be identified by their honor society regalia. Graduate students are also welcome to wear any honors regalia offered by the honor society to which they belong.

Veterans are distinguished by the red, white, and blue cords they wear. These are provided by Concordia University Texas in honor of their service to our country.

During the Service

The commencement service is a formal occasion in a place of worship; therefore we ask that you refrain from standing in the aisles or using noisemakers or other distractions that might detract from the experience for others. Please turn off or mute the sound of all electronic devices. Telephone conversations are not permitted during the service. Disruptive behavior will result in removal from the service.


For additional information regarding Commencement Service please contact Student Central at studentcentral@concordia.edu.

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