Sam Houston State University announced State Rep. Glenda Dawson of Pearland, a Distinguished Alumna of SHSU, will be the featured speaker for the university’s commencement exercises Aug. 5.

According to the university, approximately 800 students have applied for degrees, which will be awarded during two ceremonies in the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum. Students from the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Criminal Justice, and Humanities and Social Sciences will receive degrees at 10 a.m., and those from the Colleges of Business Administration and Education will received their degrees at 2 p.m.

Dawson represents the 29th District in the Texas House of Representatives, which is comprised of Matagorda and northern Brazoria counties.

She is serving her second term in the Texas House after being elected in 2002. For the 79th Session, she was appointed to the Public Health, Higher Education and House Administration Committees. In the interim, she served as a member of the House Subcommittee on Completion and Dropout — a subcommittee of the Joint Select Committee on Public School Finance.

After the 78th Legislative Session, Dawson was honored by her peers with the Outstanding Freshman Education Legislator award and was recognized by the Texas Eagle Education Fund for her representation of traditional family values.

Her leadership and commitment to young people and education have earned her many honors over the years. A public school teacher for 33 years, Dawson received the 1989 Pearland ISD Teacher of the Year award. She has also been an adjunct professor and an instructional supervisor for secondary teachers at the University of Houston.

In 2000, Pearland ISD created the “Glenda Dawson First Year Teacher Award” in recognition of her many years of devoted service to public education. In 2005, Dawson was honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award by Sam Houston State University.

As a motivational keynote speaker and facilitator, Dawson has spoken to many adults and young people across the country about developing positive and enthusiastic attitudes.

She and the late Tommy Dawson are the parents of one daughter, Dee Saenz, and the grandparents of two grandchildren.