NACOGDOCHES, Texas - State Rep. Chris Paddie will offer the commencement address during Stephen F. Austin State University's spring graduation ceremonies Saturday, May 14.
Serving his second legislative term representing the Texas House of Representatives District 9, Paddie, a native of Center, served as the vice chairman of the House Energy Resources Committee as well as a member of the Transportation and House Administration Committees.
He also served on the Transportation Subcommittee on Long-term Transportation Planning and Infrastructure, and was the House of Representatives appointee to the Texas Bioenergy Policy Counsel.
Paddie is a member of the Texas Conservative Coalition, a vice-chair of the Texas Energy Caucus, vice-chair of the Young Texans Legislative Caucus, a member of the Texas Tourism Caucus and the Fine Arts Caucus.
The Texas Conservative Coalition honored Paddie as a Courageous Conservative for his work during the 83rd Legislative Session, and the Texas Conservative Roundtable recognized him as a Lone Star Conservative Leader.
The Texas Association of Business named Paddie a Champion of Free Enterprise and the Combined Law Enforcement Agencies of Texas called Paddie one of the Best in the House.
Paddie currently serves as the chairman of the Texas Association of Broadcasters. Previously, he served as the chairman of the Greater Marshall Chamber of Commerce and on the board of directors for the Marshall Harrison County Literacy Council. He is a past president of the Boys and Girls Club of the Big Pines.
Paddie received his bachelor's degree in industrial distribution from Texas A&M University. After graduation, he worked in Houston selling safety equipment and industrial products.
While in Houston, he married his high school sweetheart, Brooke Hanszen. The couple returned to East Texas and settled in Marshall, where Paddie worked as the general manager of KMHT radio. He was elected to the Marshall City Commission in 2008 and served as mayor, where he became known for his leadership and values.
The Paddies have two sons, Christopher and Noah.
Graduates from SFA's James I. Perkins College of Education and College of Fine Arts will participate in a 9:30 a.m. ceremony in William R. Johnson Coliseum. Candidates from the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, the Nelson Rusche College of Business, the College of Liberal and Applied Arts, and the College of Sciences and Mathematics will participate in a 2 p.m. ceremony.
An estimated 1,453 degrees will be awarded, including 1,145 bachelor's degrees, 294 master's degrees and 14 doctoral degrees. More than 320 students will graduate with honors, including 132 cum laude, 103 magna cum laude and 85 summa cum laude. Also, there will be more than 60 university scholar honors.
Master's and doctoral degree candidates will graduate with their respective colleges, and Paddie will provide the commencement address at both ceremonies.