This is your Friday update, which takes a quick look at the week ahead and some developments that El Paso Matters is following.

Commencements Begin: El Paso Community College, which will grant 2,134 degrees and certificates, will kick off the spring 2023 commencement season with two ceremonies at 2 p.m. (associate of science, applied science and certificates of completion) and 6 p.m. (associate of arts and arts in teaching) Friday at UTEP’s Don Haskins Center, 151 Glory Road. The University of Texas at El Paso will celebrate its more than 3,140 graduates – the largest spring and summer cohort in its history – at four ceremonies at the Haskins Center. Saturday’s ceremonies are for the colleges of Nursing and Health Sciences at 1 p.m. followed by the School of Pharmacy, the College of Science and the Woody L. Hunt College of Business at 6 p.m. Sunday’s presentations will be at 1 p.m. for the College of Liberal Arts, and 6 p.m. for the colleges of Education and Engineering. The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso will honor its graduates at the Plaza Theatre, 125 E. Mills Ave. The Saturday ceremonies are at 10 a.m. for graduates from the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing, and at 2 p.m. from the L. Frederick Francis Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. TTUHSCEP will commemorate graduates from the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine at 6 p.m. Friday, May 19.

UT Regents Approve Don Haskins Statue: A 7-foot statue of former University of Texas at El Paso basketball coach Don Haskins will be erected by the east entrance to the Don Haskins Center by the end of the year, according to the University of Texas regents who approved the statue. Don and JoAnn Longoria, the owners of Mattress Firm, will pay for the statue. The statue will be called “The Bear” in honor of Haskins’ nickname. Haskins coached the men’s basketball team for 38 years, winning the national championship in 1966. He died in 2008. 

Ex-EPISD Administrator Guilty of Kidnapping – Former El Paso Independent School District administrator Jeffery Steven Clay was found guilty of one count each of kidnapping and transportation for illegal sexual activity  by a federal jury this past week, according to a U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico. Clay, 51, was indicted by a jury on Nov. 9, 2022, when he was employed as the executive director of analytics, strategy, and assessment and public education information management systems at EPISD. Clay previously worked for EPISD in various roles including as a teacher and school principal. Clay faces up to life in prison and will be sentenced later.