Dr. Susan Polgar, Texas Tech's new Chess Star

6/26/2007 – Susan Polgar, former women's world champion and holder of a number of world championship and Olympiad titles, will serve as director of new institute and coach of the Knight Raiders chess team of Texas Tech University. At the inauguration Susan received an honorary doctoral degree and addressed the 2007 graduating class in a remarkable speech which you can watch in HQ video.

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The university announced that it will establish the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE) and hire Susan and her husband Paul Truong to head the program. Truong will be the institute's business manager and assistant coach.


The Polgar sisters: Susan, middle, with her sisters Sofia, left, and Judit (the highest ranked female player of all time)

Texas Tech has established itself as an emerging chess presence in just a few short years. The Knight Raiders club, established in 2003, now claims more than 100 members. In 2006, the university was named Chess College of the Year by the United States Chess Federation for its scholarship program and emphasis on female recruitment.

During the commencenment ceremonies Susan Polgar recieved an honorary doctoral degree of Human Letters from President Jon Whitmore. She also received the "University Medal" from Texas Tech during the ceremony.


Susan being introduced by Texas Tech President Jon Whitmore


Speaking at the inauguration ceremony (click to watch)

This is the first time that a professional chess player gave a commencement speech at an American unversity, and received an Honorary Degree. Texas Tech has only awarded about 50 such degrees since 1923.

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