Naval Adm. William McRaven

U.S. Navy Admiral William H. McRaven, who led the mission that killed Osama bin Laden in 2011, pictured here at the Champions of Justice Gala Benefitting Veterans in May 2012.

Photo Credit: Rebeca Rodriguez | Daily Texan Staff

Update (July 13, 8:12 p.m.): A source close to the UT System has confirmed to The Daily Texan both McRaven and Fisher are candidates for the chancellor position.

Original Story (July 12): Naval Adm. William McRaven and Richard Fisher, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, are among the finalists to for the UT System chancellor position, according to media reports on Friday.

Outgoing Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa announced his resignation in February, launching a search for his replacement. Paul Foster, Board of Regents chairman, has said he hopes to find Cigarroa’s successor before the start of fall 2014 semester. At a regents meeting on Thursday, Foster said several candidates have been interviewed for the position.

The news was first reported by Paul Burka of Texas Monthly on Friday. The Austin American-Statesman and The Dallas Morning News reports cited unnamed sources. UT System spokeswoman Karen Adler declined to comment.

According to the Dallas Morning News, Kyle Janek, state health and human services executive commissioner and reportedly Gov. Rick Perry’s choice for the position, is also a finalist.

McRaven is commander of U.S. Special Operations Command and is known for leading the mission that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden. Before becoming a Navy SEAL, McRaven graduated from UT with a journalism degree in 1977.

In May, he delivered the commencement address at the University, sharing live lessons he learned from basic training.

“If take you take some risks, step up when the times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden and never, ever give up – if you do these things, then next generation and the generations that follow will live in a world far better than the one we have today,” McRaven said.

A video of the speech on YouTube has received over 2 million views.

Fisher, who is not a UT graduate, became head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in 2005.

In 1993, Fisher won the Democratic primary in a special election to fill Lloyd Bentsen’s vacate Senate seat. Fisher lost to Kay Bailey Hutchison, the current Texas Exes president, in the general election.

Fisher himself served in President Bill Clinton’s administration as deputy U.S. trade representative from 1997 to 2001. He serves on one of Harvard University’s governing boards and has served on the board of directors of the UT Investment Management Company, better known as UTIMCO.

Photo Credit: Sam Ortega | Daily Texan Staff

In front of an orange-lit UT Tower, 8,686 students graduated from the University at the 131st Spring Commencement ceremony on Saturday.

The event capped off two days of ceremonies held in the individual colleges and schools at UT. University officials estimate 25,000 people attended the final event, which was held on the Main Mall.

Naval Adm. William McRaven, who led the mission that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden, delivered the keynote address at the University-wide ceremony. McRaven, a UT alumnus, shared life lessons he learned from basic Navy SEAL training and said they can help the graduates “change the world.”

“If take you take some risks, step up when the times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden and never, ever give up – if you do these things, then next generation and the generations that follow will live in a world far better than the one we have today,” McRaven said.

During his speech at the ceremony, President William Powers Jr. praised the graduating class' diversity. According to Powers, the graduating class consisted of students from 71 foreign countries and 48 states.

Powers said the University benefits from having students with diverse backgrounds.

“Size and diversity are among are University’s strengths,” Powers said.

Four-year graduation rates for the class of 2014 were not available by the time of publication. In 2011, Powers created a task force with the goal of improving the University’s graduation rate to 70 percent by 2016. Over the past five years, graduation rates have ranged between 50 and 52 percent.

Along with seating on the Main Mall lawn, attendees could view the ceremony from nine indoor locations across campus, such as the AT&T Conference Center, Hogg Memorial Auditorium and Student Activity Center.

After the ceremony, biochemistry graduate Ifran Nathani said he will miss the friendships he made at UT.

“That fact that hard work is paying off makes me feel really good.” Nathani said. “I will remember all the good times I’ve had with my friends – present and past.”