Commencement 2012: Hutchison, Beutler to speak

By Lin Lofley and Deborah Wormser

U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and Nobel laureate Dr. Bruce Beutler, Director of the Center for the Genetics of Host Defense, will deliver commencement addresses to the 2012 graduating classes of UT Southwestern Medical School and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison

Sen. Hutchison will address graduates of the medical school, which will confer its 10,000th medical degree this year. Dr. Beutler will speak to degree recipients of the graduate school.

Graduate school exercises will be held at 7 p.m. on May 31 in the Tom and Lula Gooch Auditorium on the South Campus. Medical school ceremonies begin at 7 p.m. on June 1 at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in downtown Dallas.

Sen. Hutchison, who will retire at the end of 2012, has represented Texas in the U.S. Senate since 1993. A graduate of UT Austin and of the UT School of Law, she has been at the forefront of efforts to keep Texas among the nation’s leaders in science, engineering, and health care.

Sen. Hutchison is Honorary Chairman of The Academy of Medicine, Engineering & Science of Texas, created in 2004 to provide broader recognition of the state’s top achievers in medicine, engineering, and science.

Dr. Bruce Beutler

Dr. Beutler completed his residency at UT Southwestern in 1983. In 1986, he became one of the university’s first Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators, and in 1993 began the line of research that led to his discovery of how the innate immune system recognizes and responds to infection, for which he shared the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Soon after deciding to return to UT Southwestern, Dr. Beutler won the prestigious Shaw Prize in July 2011. The Nobel prize was awarded in December.

“My talk will tell a bit about my own experience in medicine and science, the conclusions I have drawn, and why the members of the Class of 2012 have reason to be both happy and excited about the path they are taking,” Dr. Beutler said.

Degrees will be conferred upon 227 medical students by Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, President of UT Southwestern, and upon 122 graduate students by Dr. Greg Fitz, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Provost and Dean of the Medical School.