Collin College has announced that Congressman Sam Johnson will be the official commencement speaker for the Class of 2012. Graduation exercises are set for 7 p.m. on Friday, May 11 at the Allen Event Center.

Congressman Johnson, a decorated war hero and native Texan, ranks among the few members of Congress to fight in combat.

During his 29-year career in the U.S. Air Force, Congressman Johnson flew combat missions in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars and endured nearly seven years as a prisoner of war in Hanoi, including 42 months in solitary confinement.

Following his distinguished military career, he established a home-building business in North Dallas, served in the Texas State legislature and was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

He has represented the third district of Texas in Congress since 1991.

The Congressman’s remarks will usher in a record-setting year as the largest graduating class in history crosses the commencement stage. Nearly 2,000 students are preparing to celebrate graduation with the Class of 2012.

Collin College was established in 1985, and the first graduation ceremony took place on May 16, 1987 with 12 graduates.

The only public college in the county, Collin College is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and work force development. For more information, visit

About the author: Marisela Cadena-Smith is director of marketing and communications for Collin College.