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UT Tyler to Celebrate More Than 1,500 Degree Candidates at Commencement

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December 12, 2018

Media Contact: Beverley Golden
Senior Director of Media Relations
Marketing and Communications
The University of Texas at Tyler

The University of Texas at Tyler recently announced its fall 2018 commencement ceremonies Dec. 14 – 15.

One thousand five hundred ten degree candidates will be recognized in the R. Don Cowan Fine and Performing Arts Center.

Dr. Sasha Vukelja, oncologist with Texas Oncology in Tyler, will deliver the commencement address for the College of Nursing and Health Sciences and the Soules College of Business.

Dr. Lawrence Anderson, chief medical officer with U.S. Dermatology Partners, will deliver the commencement address for the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Education and Psychology and Engineering.

Under the watchful eye of Communists, Vukelja and her mother escaped from Yugoslavia to a new life in America, arriving in 1972. Prior to her arrival, she graduated from Nursing School St. Ignace in Brussels, Belgium. She attended Lehman College and City University of New York City earning a bachelor's degree, followed by one year of study in Clinical Psychology at Howard University before joining the Army in 1979. She earned her doctor of medicine degree from the Uniformed Service University in Bethesda, Maryland, where she met Anderson, her husband.

Vukelja was instrumental in bringing the Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure to Tyler and has been inducted into the Dr. Luke Society of the Bethesda Clinic. She has written three books and is presently writing her fourth book entitled, Weeds among Seeds. She is known to her patients simply as "Dr. V." The V stands for "Victory," a reference to her determination to fight for her patients who are diagnosed with cancer.

Anderson grew up in Washington State graduating cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a bachelor's degree from Washington State University in 1979. He joined the Army and attended the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland earning his medical degree in 1984.

After he and Vukelja relocated to Tyler, he helped establish the Dermatology Associates of Tyler in 1996. Anderson currently is the chief medical officer of U.S. Dermatology Partners, initiating the founding partnership with Dermatology Associates of Tyler in 2013. U.S. Dermatology Partners currently has 300 providers in 94 dermatology practices across eight states. He also has been inducted into the Dr. Luke Society of the Bethesda Clinic. He was a governor-appointed member of the Texas Medical Board. Anderson has served on the boards of the National Vitiligo Foundation, Discovery Science Place, All Saints Episcopal School, Fourth Partner Foundation and the East Texas Communities Foundation.

Throughout the years, Anderson and Vukelja have supported UT Tyler in many ways including the Anderson-Vukelja-Wright Endowed Professor of Reading, Gary Wright Diagnostic Reading Endowment, Lawrence Anderson and Svetislava Vukelja Presidential Scholarship for Veterans and endowed scholarships for the Ben and Maytee Fisch College of Pharmacy. The couple also co-chaired UT Tyler's recent Inspiring Excellence Capital Campaign, which raised in excess of $30 million for the university.

Times and dates are:

• College of Nursing and Health Sciences – 2 p.m. Dec. 14

• College of Arts and Sciences – 6 p.m. Dec. 14

• College of Education and Psychology and College of Engineering – 9 a.m. Dec. 15

• Soules College of Business – 1 p.m. Dec. 15

President Michael Tidwell will give remarks and confer degrees. Dr. Colleen Marzilli, UT Tyler associate professor of nursing, and Clayton Carroll, Terracon Consultants office manager, will give alumni association presentations.

A member of the prestigious UT System, The University of Texas at Tyler focuses on student success and innovative research in the more than 80 undergraduate and graduate degree programs offered. With more than 10,000 students, UT Tyler has facilities in Tyler, Longview, Palestine and Houston.

UT Tyler