Physician Assistant Studies Commencement Activities

Congrats to the Class of 2019!

Charles P. Mouton, MD, MS, MBA
Executive Vice President, Provost and
Dean of the School of Medicine
The Faculty of the Department of Physician Assistant Studies
The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
School of Medicine

Cordially invite you to the

Inaugural Commencement
of the
School of Medicine
Physician Assistant Program

Friday, August 23, 2019  
2 pm
William C. Levin Hall
Galveston, Texas

PAS-Commencement Day Itenerary

Friday, August 23, 2019
  • 9 am - Student Rehearsal, Levin Hall
  • 1:15 pm - Doors open to guests
  • 2:00 pm - Commencement Ceremony begins

Ruth Ballweg, MPA, PA-CRuth Ballweg, MPA, PA-C is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington MEDEX Northwest’s Department of Family Medicine, School of Medicine. She is a recognized as a leader and pioneer in the physician assistant education.

She graduated from the MEDEX PA program in 1977, and practiced in family medicine in Ashland, Oregon, as the community’s first PA. Ms. Ballweg moved to Bremerton, Washington in 1980, and was the first PA employed at the Bremerton-Kitsap County Health Department.  Her assignments included family planning, sexually transmitted diseases, jail health, immigrant health, and maternal child health clinics.

She returned to MEDEX as a faculty member in 1981, and became Director in 1985.  During her tenure as Director (1985-2014), the program grew from accepting 20 students for a one-year certificate program to a multiple-training site program that admitted 120 students annually in four training sites for either bachelors or master’s degree options.

Beyond MEDEX, Ms. Ballweg has worked extensively with national and regional leaders in the PA, family medicine, and nursing communities, and serves as a consultant for health care organizations on interdisciplinary primary care teams. In her role as a PA educator, Ms. Ballweg has served as a site visitor and/or consultant to many PA programs, and has served on a variety of PAEA committees and task forces related to research, governmental affairs, and international strategies.

Ms. Ballweg has been a trailblazer in preserving the history of the profession, and has been associated with the Society for the Preservation of Physician Assistant History since its inception in 2001. She served as its first secretary, and has subsequently served several terms as president, emphasizing the important of remembering the profession’s past to secure its future. She is a coauthor with Thomas Piemme, Alfred Sadler, Jr. and Reginald Carter of “The Physician Assistant: An Illustrated History,” (2013) supported by the grants from the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  She has been editor and contributor to the first American textbook written on PA training, now in its fifth edition.

In 2015, Ms. Ballweg was the first recipient of the PAEA Lifetime Achievement Award. She was awarded the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award by Marquis Who’s Who in 2018.

UTMB Levin Hall
9th & Market Street, Galveston, TX 77550

Map to Levin Hall

Details to come

As an upcoming graduate, here’s what you need to know.

Students DO NOT apply for graduation. Graduating students are identified by your department.

ID Badge

All students should return their ID badge to the Badge Office.

  • Location: Rebecca Sealy 2.712
  • Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday - 8:00am - 5:00pm
  • Contact Us:
    • On Campus: ext. 2-0657
    • Off Campus: (409)772-0657

Order Regalia & Announcements
  • Rental regalia, diploma frames and announcements are available through the UTMB Campus Store.
  • Note: Rental regalia is included in the Graduation Fee in your SOM Student Tuition and Fee. Each graduate is welcome to keep the Cap/Tam & Tassel as a souvenir at no additional charge.
  • All rental regalia must be returned immediately following the commencement ceremony. Upon returning your regalia, you will receive your diploma with proper ID (student ID or driver's license).

Regalia Ordering Information

Deadline to Order: July 14, 2019


  • Please use the following link to submit your order for the regalia rental as well as commencement announcements (under "special gifts" tab), if desired:
  • Please do not hesitate to contact Campus Store for assistance at (409) 772-1939


  • Please use the following link to submit your order for the regalia rental:
  • Please do not hesitate to contact Campus Store for assistance at (409) 772-1939

Regalia Pick Up
  • All rental apparel will be pressed and delivered to the UTMB Campus Store. There will be no need to iron/press. Students may plan to pick up their regalia orders from the UTMB Campus Store the week leading up to commencement. The exact date and time of delivery will be announced at a later date contained in an email announcement. Once delivered, regalia will be kept at the UTMB Campus Store for you to pick up at your convenience until 11:00 am the day before Commencement.
  • All orders not picked up by this time will be taken to the Commencement site and available for distribution after rehearsal Friday morning.

Diploma Name Entry

As mentioned, you do not need to apply for graduation; however, you must complete the diploma name entry using the following steps:

  • Login to the MyStar portal
  • Under the Personal Information section of your Student Center main page, click the Names link.
  • Click the green Add a New Name button.
  • In the Name drop down, select Diploma.
  • Leave prefix blank.
  • Complete first, middle, and last names - these names must be part of your student record name.
  • Click the green Save button.

Address Updates

Be sure to update all your contact information in MyStar for Enrollment Services (include your correct address and a permanent / alternate email address).

Compliance Training

It is important to note that students must be up to date on all required compliance training. Failure to do so could prevent you from receiving your diploma at commencement.

Email and MyStar Deletion

Students/Alumni will retain their email address and MyStar access for 540 days (18 months) following graduation. Following this 540 day period, MyStar access will be disabled and normal account disabling and removal processes will apply.

Graduate Info

Schedule for Commencement Day
  • 8:45 am Arrive at Levin Hall
  • 9:00 am Rehearsal begins (Graduates ONLY)
  • 11:00 am Rehearsal ends
  • 1:00 pm Graduates return for lineup, Levin Hall
  • 2:00 pm Commencement ceremony begins
  • 5:00 pm Ceremony ends (estimated)

Guest Information

Guest Schedule for Commencement Day
  • 1:15 pm Doors open, Levin Hall
  • 2:00 pm Commencement ceremony begins
  • 5:00 pm Ceremony ends (estimated)
Arrival and Seating

There is no limit on the number of guests, and tickets are not required for guests. They are seated on a first-come first-serve basis. Doors will open at 1:15 pm. Large groups may want to arrive early to find seats together. Saved seats will be released 15 minutes prior to the beginning of the procession, and will be enforced by UTMB Police, security and ushers. Doors will close, if maximum capacity is reached. This decision is made by the Fire Marshall. For security purposes, the auditorium doors will remain locked between rehearsal and the ceremony.

ADA Accommodations - Persons with Disabilities

UTMB strives to ensure that all graduates and guests can participate fully in this program. Therefore, any graduates, family members or guests, who require ADA accommodations, are welcome. Graduates and/or family members are encouraged to submit ADA related accommodations within 45 days of the scheduled event. Those ADA related accommodations are inclusive of but not limited to the following:

  • Wheelchair space/or seating
  • Sign language interpretation
  • Other accommodations, as requested

Advanced arrangements must be made to confirm early admittance. One family member is permitted to sit with each person requiring seating for mobility-impaired. Other family members and friends may sit in the general assembly in the surrounding areas.We will make every effort to accommodate parents and guests without advance accessible seating requests on the day of Commencement; however, accessible seating is limited and advanced planning is highly recommended.

If you have an accommodation request, email Catalina Salinas at no later than Monday, August 12.

When you email your request, please include the name of the guest who needs the ADA related accommodation, the specific accommodation need (wheelchair, walker, sign language interpretation, etc.) and the name of person who will accompany them. We cannot guarantee specific location requests.

Commencement Photography

All commencement photographs may be ordered online at using password PA19

Flowers, Diploma Frames, Invitations

Beautiful Bouquets - Available for purchase on-site. Pre-order available online and can be picked up at our kiosk on graduation day. Cash & Credit Card accepted. Prices range from $25-$35. Please visit

Diploma frames - Please stop by the UTMB Campus Store at the Moody Medical Library, or visit their website:

Announcements and other gifts for graduates: visit

Social Media

Share the excitement, the tears, the joy and your favorite commencement moments! Post using this hashtag to share your unique commencement experience: #UTMBgrad

Future Dates

  • August 22, 2020
  • August 21, 2021

There are important differences between commencement and graduation and we want you to be comfortable with these common university terms.

Commencement refers to the ceremony, officiated by the provost of the university, where you share the excitement and importance of your academic accomplishments with peers, family, and friends. It is also a time for the university, president, deans, program directors, faculty, and staff to pay special tribute to you for the outstanding efforts you have shown in earning your degree. The university holds one ceremony, traditionally in August, to celebrate the graduates for the academic year conferrals. There is no registration fee to attend commencement; however, graduates will need to secure academic regalia, and any costs affiliated with traveling to the ceremony location.

Graduation, on the other hand, is the process of completing all academic requirements for your degree, and settling all financial obligations, among a few other audits/assessments. The administrative process of degree conferral will indicate your official date of graduation. Conferral date is defined as the date on which your degree is officially awarded. There is one official commencement date per year, held in the month of August. Also note, that you will receive your diploma whether you attend commencement or not.