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CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent Bob Schieffer delivered a heartfelt and moving commencement address to the LBJ School of Public Affairs Class of 2007 on Saturday, May 19, in the Bates Recital Hall. Schieffer, himself a native Texan, challenged the graduates to not be afraid to tackle the greatest public issues of the 21st century.
"Throughout history, people have generally fallen into three groups—those who had not interest in what was on the other side of the mountain, those who feared what was on the other side of the mountain, and those who had the courage to go to the other side of the mountain to see what was there," Schieffer said.
"It will be your choice to decide which group you will be a part of, but I hope you will be among those who are willing to make the trip. The world needs you."
The graduating class contained 92 students receiving the master's degree in public affairs and one student receiving her doctorate in public policy.
In addition to Bob Schieffer as the commencement speaker, the Class of 2007 also heard from their fellow classmate Alison Hart, who gave the class speech. Hart, who grew up in Virginia and majored in English and dance at Grinnell College in Iowa, found inspiration from A Psalm of Life, or What the Heart of the Young Man Said the Psalmist by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in extolling her fellow graduates to a lifetime of continued achievement.
Special recognition was given to those graduates who had shown a particularly high standard of academic excellence during their time at the LBJ School by completing their degree with a perfect 4.0 grade point average. Associate Dean for Academics, Robert Wilson, presented them Lyndon B. Johnson Foundation Award to Jennifer Deegan, Eric Larson, Andrew Nelson, Michael Reffett, Kipyn Reyher, and Benjamin Siegel. The Emmette S. Redford Award for Outstanding Research was presented to Jayme Meyer by Professor Richard Schott for her professional research project entitled, "The High Stakes of Medical Tourism: A Partial Solution to Decrease Health Costs for American Business." Redford honorable mention awards were given to Ann Russo for her professional research report, "A Non-Parametric Test of the Term Structure's Causal Relationships with Economic Activity," and to Gregory Krauss, "Impacting Foreign Policy as a Mid-level Bureaucrat: The Diplomatic Career of George Lister."
The LBJ School's 36th annual graduation convocation was a part of a day of commencement activities at the University, culminating in the 124th University-wide commencement ceremony at the University of Texas at Austin Tower.