Matthew McConaughey to give commencement address in Houston
Texas native and Academy Award winner Matthew McConaughey will give the University of Houston’s inaugural universitywide commencement address at TDECU Stadium on May 15.
Nearly 5,000 students will attend the ceremony in the recently completed stadium, UH said.
Last summer, UH sold the naming rights for its new stadium to Lake Jackson-based Texas Dow Employees Credit Union. The 10-year, $15 million-deal is the third most lucrative among NCAA stadiums.
“We are delighted and honored that Matthew McConaughey has agreed to give the first commencement address in our beautiful new football stadium,” UH President Renu Khator said in the university’s announcement, noting that McConaughey’s father, “Big Jim” McConaughey, once played college football at UH.
UH also noted that McConaughey’s philanthropic and humanitarian work aligns with the university’s mission. His jk livin Foundation — shorthand for “just keep living” — is dedicated to empowering high school students to lead active lives and make healthy choices.
The foundation serves more than 2,000 students at 24 programs in California, Texas, Louisiana and Washington, D.C.
Securing McConaughey as commencement speaker comes shortly after other high-profile news for UH.
Earlier this month, UH won a bid to lead one of two Texas consortiums that will receive national funds to study how to prevent future catastrophes, such as the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. The grant is a major step for UH, which has been trying to reach top-tier status.