Keynote Speakers


State Representative Byron Cook

District Eight

Byron Cook was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 2002 and is honored to represent the hard-working citizens of House District 8, which includes Anderson, Freestone, Hill, and Navarro counties.

At the beginning of the 83rd Legislative Session, Representative Cook was re-appointed chair of the House Committee on State Affairs.  This committee has a diverse and broad jurisdiction over a myriad of critical issues to the state including: right to life issues, utility regulation, the management of state agencies, immigration, and the administration of state government.  Cook also continues to serve on the House Calendars Committee.

Cook recently completed serving six years on the Sunset Advisory Commission, which is a 12-member body responsible for the periodic review of the functionality and efficiency of state agencies.

In past legislative sessions, Cook was designated to serve as chair of the House Committee on Environmental Regulation and the House Committee on Civil Practices.  He was also named as the vice-chair of the Local and Consent Calendards Committee and a member of the committees on State Affairs and Calendars.

Representative Cook is a businessman and rancher.  He and his wife, Kay live in Corsicana and have two daughters.  Their youngest daughter is a sophomore at Texas A&M University and their oldest daughter, a graduate of Texas A&M University, is married and has a son and a daughter.


Congressman Joe Barton

Texas Sixth District

Congressman Joe Barton was first elected to serve the Sixth District of Texas in 1984.  He is the Chairman Emeritus and the most senior Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over energy, public health, commerce, trade, telecommunications, and other marketplace interests.

Barton has committed himself to passing energy legislation that promotes high supply, low demand, consumer-friendly prices while ensuring environmental protection.  His efforts to develop comprehensive national energy legislation led to the passage and enactment of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which is the last major piece of energy legislation to pass through Congress and become law.

A founding co-chairman of the Congressional Privacy Caucus, he continues to work to preserve the financial adn medical privacy of Americans and has promoted safety and privacy in the ever-expanding Internet universe.  He remains committed to improving the way medical research is conducted at the federal level and ensuring adequate funding is provided.

Barton remains among the steadfast House leaders on tax reform through the promotion of lower taxes and financial freedom, and he continues to fight for the basic traditional rights put forth by our Founding Fathers.

Joe Barton was born on September 15, 1949, in Waco, Texas.  He attended Texas A&M University, where he was the outstanding industrial engineering student for the Class of 1972, and went on to earn a Master of Science degree in Industrial Administration from Purdue University.  In 1981, he was selected for the prestigious White House Fellows Program and served as an aide to then-Energy Secretary James B. Edwards.

Barton and his wife, Terri, live in Ennis.  He has four children, two stepchildren, and five grandchildren.

Important Dates & Information
Graduation Application Deadline
March 21, 2014
Commencement Ceremonies
May 9 & 10, 2014
Diploma Pickup
Diploma Mail-out Begins
2 -3 weeks after graduation