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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The legacy of longtime commencement speaker: Dan Schumacher

Senior+lecturer+for+the+School+of+Journalism+and+Mass+Communication+and+general+manager+and+faculty+adviser+of+KTSW-FM+89.9%2C+Dan+Schumacher+speaking+at+commencement%2C+2015%2C+at+Strahan+Arena.

Senior lecturer for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and general manager and faculty adviser of KTSW-FM 89.9, Dan Schumacher speaking at commencement, 2015, at Strahan Arena.

For over 20 years, Dan Schumacher, a senior lecturer for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, general manager and faculty adviser of KTSW-FM 89.9, has prepared to introduce the names of graduate students for commencement.
Once applications open for graduation at the beginning of each semester, Schumacher begins to download the lists of names to prepare for graduation. From his couch at home, surrounded by his family members, Schumacher goes over the names in order, reviews pronunciation and follows up with students who didn’t provide pronunciation to be sure everything runs smoothly the day of graduation.
“I prep, you know, I just practice,” Schumacher said. “I go over the challenging names and I’ll do that all the way up until the time that a ceremony starts. And even while I’m sitting there before the ceremony I will be going through the list of names.”
This semester Schumacher is reading around 2,500 names for five of the graduation ceremonies. Brant Freeman, a video production coordinator and commentator for Texas State Athletics, is announcing at the other three.
A year after coming to Texas State in 2001, Schumacher was appointed to be in the rotation to read names for the College of Fine Arts. In 2008, Texas State decided to do away with the rotation of speakers for each college and wanted to try to have one speaker. Schumacher was the only speaker for over 10 years until he requested to split the days with Freeman during the spring and fall as the pool of names became too overwhelming.
“I did all of them,” Schumacher said. “It was a lot and the university was growing and that’s why I requested finally that they find somebody to help because like a May ceremony right now is 4,500 graduates, and it was just too much honestly.”
Schumacher continues to read at commencement, not only because of his willingness to do so, but because of the effort and drive that he has to respect each gradates identity through the long preparation of gathering and practicing the pronunciation of names.
The ceremonies themselves are Schumacher’s favorite part of the process. Although he believes being on the floor itself is overwhelming due to the loud cheers and having to read out loud a name every three to four seconds, witnessing students’ faces and being there in that moment with them makes the vibe “awesome.”
“That’s the best part because there’s that moment…they’re queued up and you see the look on their faces on the students, the graduates, and, you know, everything’s happening,” Schumacher said. “Mom and dad and grandpa and grandma and brother and sisters…they’re all up in the stands, ready to go, and they have signs and all sorts of different things, and it’s just that rush of that moment and it’s exciting.”
Schumacher is ready for commencement. He uploaded all of his final edits for his graduation dates this past week on Sunday evening. He looks forward to seeing students walk the stage and to begin to prepare for the summer graduate ceremonies starting in June.

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