Rep. Dan Branch, a member of the Texas House of Representatives from Dallas, will deliver the Midwestern State University commencement address at the ceremony scheduled for May 15 at 10:00 a.m. Due to renovations at D.L. Ligon Coliseum, the ceremony will take place at Kay Yeager Coliseum. Approximately 688 students are candidates to earn their degrees this May.
Branch was elected in 2002, as a Republican and represents downtown, uptown and near east Dallas, as well as the Town of Highland Park and the City of University Park.
Branch is Chairman of the Higher Education Committee, serves on the Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence Committee and is a member of the Legislative Budget Board. He is also the Republican Chair of the Dallas Area Legislative Delegation. Last session, he served as Chairman of the House Select Committee on Higher & Public Education Finance. Additionally, he served three terms as the Chair of Budget & Oversight on House Public Education Committee, and last session, served as Vice Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Education.
This year, Branch passed major initiatives to create more Tier One universities in Texas, reform the Top 10% college admissions rule and expand the use of interactive content and digital textbooks in our public schools. In recognition of his work, both Capitol Inside and Texas Monthly named Branch among their best legislators of the 2009 Session. In addition, he was named to The Dallas Morning News Legislative Leader Board.
Some of his past public service awards include: Texas Medical Association Medical Student Division’s “2007 Legislator of the Year," the United States Humane Society Humane State Legislator Award;” and, over the years, multiple “Champion of Free Enterprise” awards from the Texas Association of Business.
In addition to his service in the Legislature, Branch is a corporate lawyer and shareholder of Winstead PC. He is a former judicial clerk to Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Jack Pope and a former aide to the late U.S. Senator John Tower. Branch is a member of the bars of Texas, New York and the District of Columbia.
Beyond his professional service, Branch is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City, a former president of The Dallas Assembly and a former Chairman of the Texas Public Finance Authority, appointed by Governor George W. Bush. Branch is a Fellow of the Aspen Institute's Rodel program, Class of 2008. In addition, he is the chairman of SMU's John Tower Center for Political Studies, and serves on numerous boards, including The Fund for American Studies in Washington, D.C., the Boy Scouts of America/Circle Ten Council and the Southwestern Medical Foundation in Dallas.
A graduate of the SMU School of Law and the Institute on Comparative Political & Economic Systems at Georgetown University, he holds two undergraduate degrees from Oklahoma Christian University, graduating summa cum laude in 1980.
Dan and his wife, Stacey, live in Dallas along with their five children.