Ceremony I College of Arts & Sciences (Undergraduate degrees ONLY)

Ceremony I College of Arts & Sciences (Undergraduate degrees ONLY)


(spirited instrumental music) (overlapping audience chatter) (“Fanfare and Processional”
by James D. Ployhar) (audience cheers and applauds) – [Voiceover] Please be seated. I would ask that you please turn off your cell phones or put them on vibrate. Good morning. I am Pablo Arenaz, Provost and Vice President
for Academic Affairs. I want to like to welcome you to Texas A&M International University’s 2016 Spring Commencement Ceremony. This is the first of three
ceremonies we will have today. This morning, the College
of Arts and Sciences will graduate 306 undergraduate students. (audience cheers and applauds) The largest graduating class we’ve had for arts and sciences. This afternoon, the A. R.
Sanchez School of Business will graduate 151 students, and the College of Arts and Sciences will graduate 222 graduate students. In the late afternoon ceremony,
the College of Education, the College of Nursing
and Health Sciences, and University College
will graduate 198 students. In total by the end of the day today, we will have graduated 680 students. (audience cheers and applauds) As is our tradition, we will now present the flags of the nations
that are represented in this morning’s graduating class. As each flag is introduced, will the graduating
students from that country please rise and remain standing. Ghana. Venezuela. Mexico. (audience cheers and applauds) The United States of America. (audience cheers wildly and applauds) This morning, members of the TAMIU Army Reserve Officer Training program are presenting the US flag. Please rise and join with Alexis Reyes, who is graduating today
with a Bachelor’s in Music and singing the National Anthem. And gentlemen, please remove your hats. (percussion music) ♫ Oh, say can you see ♫ By the dawn’s early light ♫ What so proudly we hailed ♫ At the twilight’s last gleaming ♫ Whose broad stripes and bright stars ♫ Through the perilous fight ♫ O’er the ramparts we watched ♫ Were so gallantly streaming ♫ And the rocket’s red glare ♫ The bombs bursting in air ♫ Gave proof through the night ♫ That our flag was still there ♫ Oh, say does that star spangled ♫ Banner yet wave ♫ O’er the land of the free ♫ And the home of the brave ♫ (audience cheers and applauds) – [Voiceover] You may be seated. This morning the university mace was carried by Dr. Jim Norris, President of the Faculty Senate. The Faculty Marshal who led the students in the processional was
Dr. Weam Al-Tameemi, Assistant Professor of Mathematics. (applause) The College of Arts and Sciences is recognizing outstanding
graduates by asking them to serve as student marshal
and college banner bearer. Will you please rise when I call your name and remain standing. Serving as student marshal
is Melba Gomez-Salinas. The banner bearer is Kevin Sanchez. Congratulations on your success. You may be seated. I’m now pleased to
introduce the stage party. To my left is Dr. Ray Keck,
President of the university. Next to Dr. Keck is Mr. Robert Albritton, Texas A&M University System Regent and our commencement speaker. Next to him is Dr. Minita Ramirez, Vice President for Student Success. To my right is Mr. Juan Castillo, Vice President for Finance
and Administration. Next to him is Miss Rosanne Palacios, Vice President for
Institutional Advancement. And we’re also joined by Dr. Tom Mitchell, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Stephen Sears, Dean of the A. R. Sanchez
School of Business. Dr. Catheryn Weitman, Dean
of the College of Education. Dr. Glenda Walker, Dean of the College of
Nursing and Health Sciences. Dr. Jim Norris, who
was introduced earlier. Dr. Jeff Brown, Dean of
Graduate Studies and Research. Dr. Conchita Hickey, Dean
of University College. Mr. John Alaster Love, President
of the Alumni Association. And Mr. Joshua Llamas, outgoing President of Student
Government Association. I would also like to recognize a very special guest who’s
in the audience with us, our County Judge, Tano Tijerina. (audience applauds) I now invite Dr. Keck to introduce our commencement speaker. – [Voiceover] Soon-to-be graduates, parents, family, friends,
ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure
to introduce today’s commencement speaker,
Mr. Robert L. Albritton. Robert Albritton graduated with honors from Texas A&M University in 1971, where he majored in both
economics and marketing. Upon graduation, Mr.
Albritton was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in
the United States Air Force. He has had a storied career
in the business world. In 1978 he joined Texas American Bank as Senior Vice President. Shortly thereafter, he formed
his first independent company, Albritton Development Company, which became the holding
company for other ventures, including Mayfair Capitol, Albritton Energy, an oil and gas company, and Albritton Partners,
a nationally recognized real estate development company. In 1988 he formed
Mayfair Investments, LLC, a company that he continues
to serve as Chairman and CEO. In 1994, Mr. Albritton started Railroad Controls Limited, RCL. Under his leadership,
RCL became the largest privately owned railroad signaling and communication company in America. Expansion of services to
railroads has continued with the formation of
RCL Wiring and RCL Burco, another company he continues
to serve as Chairman and CEO. Mr. Albritton has served on a number of public and private sector boards. He is active in several charitable
and civic organizations, involved in both the United
States Golf Association and the Southern Golf Association. And of paramount importance to us, in 2015 our Governor
Rick Abbott appointed him to the Texas A&M University
System Board of Regents, where he serves to safeguard education and the future for all students in the Texas A&M University System. Regent Albritton, welcome to Laredo. (audience applauds) – [Voiceover] Good morning. It is a tremendous honor
to stand before you today. As always, it’s very humbling to stand before new graduates. I remember vaguely, very vaguely, when I sat where you’re sitting today. And one of the things that
I do remember the most is that I couldn’t even begin to tell you who my commencement speaker was. So one of the things I want to impart on you today is that throughout this small commencement speech, I will not be trying to impart any type of wisdom. You have that. You’ve spent four years attaining that. At least these people up here certainly hope you have attained that. The other is, I would
like to thank obviously President Keck for his kind remarks. You know, there were a few more I would have given you if you’d ask, but. And his faculty, his staff, but most importantly to the parents, to the grandparents, to the siblings, to the friends, what a wonderful occasion we are celebrating here today. And let me look at my book. Yes, yes, yes. And if elected President
of the United States, I want you to know there
will be no damn wall. (laughter)
(cheers and applause) Wait, wrong speech. Hold on a sec, wait a minute. I’m still trying to figure out exactly what a Dustdevil is. I know that I’ve seen ’em, but I’m trying to figure out how you get a mascot to do that. I’m just not really sure
I totally understand that. Again, we are here today to celebrate you. We’re here to celebrate the sacrifices that each and every one of you all have had to make to get here today. There is no doubt that you are a part of an incredible university. A university that is ranked
number one in the country, with the highest Hispanic
population of students anywhere in the country. You have one of the best, what we call return on
investments for your education, meaning that the cost of this education is gonna be well worth your time. And that is something very
important as you look at schools. All the time and the money I’ve spent, is it gonna be worth it? And I’m gonna tell you
today, absolutely it is. You’re gonna go out in
the world with a degree. Let me tell you today
that more than likely you will not use that degree. You will use the learning experience that you have garnered
from your four years here, five years, six years, in
my case, seven, maybe eight, but you will use that. You will use the inquisitiveness that you have learned to
ask the right questions, look for the right answers. The vast majority of CEOs that have been very successful that I know, do not use their undergraduate
or graduate degree. They have basically spent their time understanding what it is that
I must do to be successful. They spend their time determining what it is my dream is. And I’m gonna tell you today, dream big. Dream often. Because without that,
really what’s the purpose? Understand also that every
journey starts with a first step. Today we’re taking a big step. But I’m gonna go back to dream big. When you think you hit your attainment of your dream or your goal, change it. Move it further out. The other thing that I will tell you is that never forget the sense of urgency. Remember the word urgency. It isn’t going to happen for you, you’re gonna have to make it happen. And the advantage that you will have if you have this sense of urgency is you will understand what it takes. It’s not gonna come to you,
you’ve got to go to it. So always remember that I can’t wait. I have to continue to move forward. Understand also that
success is not a bad word. Success is a good word. Success is just basically
another way of saying, “I am on the road to attaining my dream.” Never, ever let anyone tell
you that to be successful, you had to do it on the
back of somebody else. That is not true in the
remotest way of a definition. You’re successful because
you worked harder. You worked smarter. You worked longer. That’s success. Success also is not necessarily monetary. Success is measured, am I happy? Am I doing what I wanna do? Am I as good as I possibly
can be at what I am doing? That is success. The other thing I will tell you is that to be successful, you
have to learn how to fail. You cannot be afraid of failure. For failure is just
another step to success. And anyone that can sit and tell me that they have not failed,
they have not tried. The secret here is when
you fail, two things. You get up, you dust yourself off, you put a big smile on your face and you say, “What did I learn?” Then I move on. But if I’m not secure in knowing I can fail, I promise you I will never
learn the taste of success. So also remember that failure hurts. There’s a sting to failure. Embrace that, remember that. Because every time I fail, I
know I don’t wanna do that, I wanna learn from that, and I want to move on to success. Never, ever, ever be
afraid to make a decision. Decisions are not always gonna be perfect, but at least you had the
gumption to make that decision. Make it. Live with the consequences and always look forward. Our insane asylums across this country are full of people that spend
their life looking backwards. Life is not lived in the rear view mirror. Life is lived through
the front windshield. Always remember that life is in front of us, it’s not behind us. Not to say we don’t learn
from history, we do. And if we don’t learn from history, history is bound to repeat itself. So always look forward. Always carry yourself with total and complete understanding, compassion. But most importantly, self-confidence that I can do this job. You’re graduating today
because you have done a job. You wouldn’t be here if you
hadn’t made the sacrifices. You wouldn’t be here if your family hadn’t made their sacrifices. So many times in these speeches
we talk about students. However, I think that none of us would agree we’d be here if we didn’t have the
support of our parents, our friends, our grandparents. And for that, I would
like all of the parents, grandparents to stand up
and let us acknowledge you. (audience cheers and applauds) Winston Churchill once said, “Success is not final, “failure is not fatal. “It is the courage to
continue that matters.” Failure will not kill you. Always remember that. We’re gonna learn from that
and we’re gonna persevere. Always get up, dust yourself off, and get on with the next mission. I would like to share two things
with you all in conclusion. One of ’em is very personal. I have four children, all
of ’em graduates of A&M. The second son was in high school and he, you might say, was a fairly
independent-minded young man. In his senior year in high school, I got a call from the principal and said, “Mr. Albritton, I’ve got
some bad news for you. “Your son was experiencing another PDA.” And I go, “PDA, what’s PDA?” Public display of affection. You know, that’s an interesting thing. And so I said, “Well, I’m very sorry. “What do you want to do?” He said, “Well, I want to basically “put him in rest period.” And I said, “Well, what does that mean?” He said, “Well, I want to send him “home for a couple of days.” And I said, “Well, you know,
you’re not gonna do that.” And he goes, “Well, what do you mean “you’re not gonna do that?” I said, “No, you’re gonna expel him.” He said, “What?” I said, “No, you’re gonna expel him. “It’s time this young man comes to grip “with decisions that he has made.” So I went and I picked him up. And in Fort Worth, Texas, there is a street downtown
and on this street there are three recruiting offices: Army, Navy, Air Force. I said, “Son, pick one.” And he looked at me and he
goes, “You’re kidding, right?” I said, “No, pick one.” So he says, “Well, I
guess I’ll pick the Navy.” Well the Navy said, you know, you look like a good candidate, but you’re gonna have to
go back and get your GED. ‘Cause I’d pulled him out of school. He went and he got his GED. Next day he went to the Navy. He excelled in the Navy. As a matter of fact, he
was on the Teddy Roosevelt when the first planes took off in the invasion of Afghanistan. He had moved up to deck chief. And he came one day to me and said, “You know dad, I think that I want “to do something other than Navy.” And I said, “Well, that’s fine, “but you’re not getting out of the Navy “until you can tell me what your plan is.” So he said, “You know what? “I want to go to college
and I want to be a banker.” So he went back. He got out of the Navy. He went to Fort Worth Junior College. Got a four point. Got accepted into Mays Business School at A&M, got a four point. Graduated, went into banking, and today runs a very successful company. The purpose of me
telling you this story is you never stop moving. You learn from your mistakes. And you persevere. The last thing I’d like to do is, I wrote a letter for you all. And it’s a letter to the
world, on your behalf. And if I can, let me read it real quick. “Dear World, “Our Dustdevils graduate today. “It’s going to be sort of a strange “and new to them for a while, “and I wish you would
sort of treat them gently. “You see, up to now, they have been “the king or queen of the roost. “They have been boss of the backyard. “Their parents have always been near “to soothe and repair their feelings. “But now things are going to be different. “Today they’re going to
walk across this stage, “wave their hand, and start
out on the great adventure. “It is an adventure that might take them “across continents, across oceans. “It’s an adventure that
will probably include “wars, and tragedy, and sorrow. “To live their lives in the world “they will have to live in “will require faith, love, and courage. “So world, I wish you would
sort of look after them. “Take them by the hand
and teach them things “they will have to know,
but do it gently if you can. “They will have to learn
that people are not just, “that all people are not
true, but teach them also “that for every scoundrel, there’s a hero. “That for every crooked politician, “there’s a great and dedicated leader. “Teach them that for every
enemy, there is a friend. “It will take time world, I know, “but teach them that a nickel earned “is of far more value than a dollar found. “Teach them to lose so they will “enjoy winning that much more. “Steer them away from envy if you can, “and teach them the
secret of quiet laughter. “Let them learn early that bullies “are the easiest people to
whip in the school yard. “Teach them the wonders of books, “but also teach them to ponder “the internal mystery of birds on the wing “and bees in the sun and
flowers on the green. “In life world, teach them
it is much more honorable “to fail than to cheat. “Teach them to have
faith in their own ideas, “even if everyone says they are wrong. “Teach them to be gentle
with gentle people “and tough with tough people. “Try to give these graduates
the strength not to follow “the crowd when everyone is
getting on the bandwagon. “Teach them to listen to all people, “but teach them also
to filter all they hear “on a screen of truth that takes the good “that siphons through. “Teach them how to
laugh when they are sad. “Teach them there is no shame in tears. “Teach them that there
can be glory in failure “and despair in success. “Teach them to scoff at cynics “and to be aware of too much sweetness. “Teach them to sell their brains and brawn “to the highest bidder, “but never, ever put a
price tag on their heart. “Teach them how to close
their ears to the howling mob, “but to stand and fight if
they think they are right. “Teach them there are times
when they must gamble, “and there are times when
they must pass the dice. “Treat them gently world, if you can, “but don’t coddle them because only “the test of fire makes fine steel. “Let them have the
courage to be impatient. “Let them have patience to be brave. “Let them be no man or woman’s subjugate. “Teach them always to have
sublime faith in themselves “because then they will always “have sublime faith in mankind. “This is quite an order, world, “but you see what you can do. “You see, they are special. “They are Dustdevils and they
are ready to embrace you. “Yours truly, Bob Albritton.” (audience cheers and applauds) – [Voiceover] Thank you. – [Voiceover] Thank you. – [Voiceover] Thank you, Regent Albritton. Please accept this gift as a token of our gratitude and to remind you of this May morning, 2016. – [Voiceover] Thank you very much. (applause) – [Voiceover] Now we come to my favorite part of the ceremony. It is now my honor to introduce
Veronica Giselle Chavez, the Distinguished Student Scholar from the College of Arts and Sciences, who will present remarks this morning. Veronica, will you please
make your way to the stage? (audience cheers and applauds) Veronica is the daughter of
Veronica and Luis Chavez. She graduated from the
Health and Science Magnet at Alexander High School in 2012. Today she graduates summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, having attained a 4.0 grade point average. I have to talk to my colleagues
in Biology about that. While a student at TAMIU, Veronica was a member
of the Honors Program, the Early Medical School
Acceptance Program, Sophomore Leaders Involved in Change, the Honors Council, Big Brothers
and Big Sisters of TAMIU, and was co-president of TAMIU’s American Medical Student Association. I don’t know how she got a 4.0, my gosh. She has been involved in
many leadership activities, resulting in her earning all five of the TAMIU Trailblazer badges. She was inducted into Tri-Beta
Biological Honor Society, and Phi Kappa Phi, the Honor Society. Miss Chavez was awarded
a STARS scholarship, a Top 10 scholarship,
and a STEM scholarship. She conducted research on the inhibition of HIV reverse transcriptase
by plant lectins with Dr. Ruby Ynalvez. Veronica will begin medical
school at the University of Texas Medical Branch
at Galveston in the fall. She plans to focus on gastroenterology and wants to return to Laredo to practice. Please welcome the College
of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Student Scholar,
Veronica Giselle Chavez. (audience cheers and applauds) – [Voiceover] Thank you, Dr. Arenaz. Good morning, Dr. Keck,
distinguished stage guests, parents, friends, family, faculty, staff, and members of the
graduating class of 2016. It is an honor to stand before you today, as your representative at such a memorable and much anticipated event. Graduates, we are all here
through the support of many. Most notably our parents,
family members, and friends. Today we salute and dedicate
these diplomas to you. The passion that we shared as students can be defined as a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement
about doing something. Throughout this journey each one of us has depended on our passion for our chosen career
path and future success. As we reminisce about our journey, let’s travel back to the starting point on this road to success,
choosing the right university. When we chose TAMIU, we knew that our education would be valuable, and our experience would be personal. Walking through this beautiful campus, we observed our coexistence with nature; the planetarium, the Killam
Library’s Great Room, and the impressive Sharkey-Corrigan organ, where we first heard our alma mater during our unforgettable
days at Dusty Camp. Throughout our undergraduate career, we encountered many opportunities and faced many obstacles. But our passion guided us to our goals. We all spent countless hours studying away at the Great Room, enjoying the beautiful view and accumulating Starbucks Rewards with our never-ending coffee runs. We also indulged in STA’s Taco Tuesday and the free breakfast and doughnuts provided during finals week. Our individual wants and desires, guided by the fear of failure
and the will to succeed, made possible, sorry, set
us on the course to success, made possible by equal parts
of education and experience. Setting this university
in a league all its own, TAMIU’s professors are personal,
engaging, and passionate. With small class sizes,
most of our professors knew us on a first name basis, opening several new
doors to opportunities. We undertook quality research
with faculty members, and by working with them, we gained knowledge and experience for conferences and events, both local and across the country. Their dedication, both
through time and effort, surely reflects on the
quality of our education. They have a passion not only
to convey their knowledge, but to instill a similar passion within us to learn and grow. Now the future is up to us. As the late Nelson Mandela observed, education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world. The education we obtained at TAMIU has also been measured with experiences. From the opening of the Senator Judith Zaffirini
Student Success Center, to the addition of the SkyLab, to the bright green dinosaur we have all taken pictures with, TAMIU has grown with us. Through experiences on and off campus, study abroad organizations
and community service, we became agents of change, making our community a
better place for all of us. Likewise, the experience of
being part of the Honors Program or living the Greek life as Dustdevils, helped us to network, socialize, and build lifelong friendships. We all attended lectures,
plays, concerts, and games. We obtained leadership roles, striving to motivate others and earn TAMIU Trailblazers dimensions. All of these experiences fundamentally enhanced the value of our education. As we transform the world around us, we too were transformed. As Dr. Minita Ramirez has once said, “Part of the value is determined by this; “a diploma is as valuable as those “that graduated before us. “And the value of the diploma “for those that come after us, “will be measured by what
we do with our diploma.” And now, class of 2016, each one of us as individuals,
and as a collective group, have the tremendous responsibility to continue making our university
prosper for years to come. For all of us this is only the beginning. Some of us will continue
pursuing an education, attending professional
or graduate schools. Others will join the work force, excelling and encouraging
those they encounter to pursue their dreams. And yet some will move on to
a completely new environment, to again master and conquer. Our future will always
be fundamentally grounded in the education and experience
provided by our great TAMIU. Class of 2016, so as
newly integrated alumni, let’s make our university proud. Let’s show enthusiasm and excitement in everything that we do. No matter what we choose to pursue, or what direction our lives take, let’s make sure we remain passionate. And above all, strive to be
the best we can possibly be. I am TAMIU. We are TAMIU. Forever we will be TAMIU. Thank you. (audience applauds) – [Voiceover] Thank you
for those inspiring words. And we would like to present you with this small gift so that
you can remember this day also. Thank you very much. (applause) Dr. Keck, will you please
join me at the podium? And now, will all the candidates for the respective degrees
and all faculty, please rise. (applause) Dr. Keck, I certify that the graduates whose names will appear on
the official graduation list, will have completed all work
required for their degrees, and will be in compliance
with the policies and regulations as approved
by the Board of Regents and published in the official catalog of Texas A&M International University. On behalf of this community of scholars, the faculty and staff, I recommend that their
degrees be conferred. – [Voiceover] By the
authority vested in me, by the chancellor, by the Board of Regents of the Texas A&M University System, acting under the enabling legislation establishing this university, and in pursuance of the faculty
and academic administration, I hereby confer upon each of you the degree to which you are entitled with all its rights, privileges,
and responsibilities. Baccalaureate graduates, you may now move the tassel from right to left. Congratulations. (audience cheers and applauds) Please be seated. – [Voiceover] Marshal,
will you please escort the candidates to the stage? – [Voiceover] Mr. President, I now present to you those individuals upon whom a baccalaureate degree, from the College of Arts and Sciences, has been conferred. Graduating summa cum laude, Veronica Giselle Chavez. Graduating cum laude, Jose Manuel Acosta. Jazmin Berenice Alonzo. Stephanie Alvarado. Andres Alvarez. Jorge Luis Alvarez. Diana Laura Arellano. Graduating cum laude,
Rebekah Ann Arenaz Kirby. Patricia Guadalupe Arriaga. Emelia Ah-doh Men-sa. Amanda Barrera Lu-on. Rafael Angel Benavides, Jr. Xavier Benevides. Brooke Berrios. Luis Ignacio Berumen Alvarez. Eduardo Bunn. Celeste Cantu Guerra. Valerie Carrillo. Graduating summa cum laude,
Gabriella Nanette Castillo. Selina Michelle Cervantes. Graduating summa cum
laude, Martha Laura Chapa. Kelly Cisneros. Graduating magna cum laude, Mariana Clark. Graduating cum laude,
Lucia Cristina Cortes. Thait Cortes. Graduating magna cum
laude, Reba Marie Cortez. Dulce Y. Cruz. Elizabeth Cuapio-Mendoza. Dario R. Delgado. Graduating summa cum laude, Itzel Aracely Delgado. Jennifer Dominguez. Graduating cum laude, Melinda Lee Downie. Arlene Duran. Anna Esteves. Melissa Facundo. Fabiola Isabel Fernandez-Garcia. Graduating summa cum
laude, Stephanie Fimbres. Jesus Alfredo Flores. Julian Antonio Flores. Miguel Eduardo Flores. Graduating summa cum laude,
Hannah Gazelle Gabelman. Roxana Malou Galindo. Graduating cum laude, Joaquin Isaias Gallegos. Christopher J. Garcia. Gracie Renee Garcia. Irene Garcia. Lia Nabil Garcia-Guerrero. Nikki Corinne Garcia. Osvaldo T. Garcia. Keila Garibay-Harris. Patricia Garza. Graduating magna cum
laude, Alexandra Gomez. Graduating summa cum laude,
Carolina Jacqueline Gomez. Alma Annette Gonzalez. Graduating magna cum
laude, Brenda Gonzalez. Diana Garro. Lory Michelle Gonzalez. Christina Margarita Gonzalez. Jesus Gonzalez, III. Jonathan Aaron Gonzalez. Monica Raquel Gonzalez. Randy Gonzalez. Stephanie A. Gonzalez. Graduating cum laude, Hector Guillermo Gonzalez Cantu. Daniella Guerrero. Ana Karen Gutierrez. Graduating magna cum laude, Jacqueline Aimee Gutierrez. Jorge Alberto Gutierrez. Tiffany Ann Hale. Graduating cum laude, Juan Antonio Hermosillo, Jr. Graduating magna cum laude,
Dulce Hernandez-Ruiz. Erick Rosendo Hernandez. Graduating cum laude,
Maria Del Rosario Herrera. Graduating summa cum
laude, Ashley Nicole Hight. Graduating cum laude, Karla Alexia Ibarra. Graduating cum laude, Mario V. Jarero. Aleyda Francelli Jauregue. Graduating magna cum laude, Brandi Leigh King. Berenice Alejandra Lara. Graduating cum laude, Esperanza Lara. Jasmin Arlette Lazo. Melissa Raquel Leal. Maria Guadalupe Leija. Estela Araceli Lopez. Graduating cum laude, Sarahi E. Lopez. Angelina Victoria Martinez. Graduating cum laude,
Ingrid Idette Martinez. Jose Roberto Martinez Hernandez. Graduating magna cum laude,
Paula Anahi Martinez. Rochelle R. Martinez. Our next regent, Student Regent, for the Texas A&M University System, Stephanie Yamilett Martinez. Thomas Jay Martinez. Mary Lisa McKinnon-Canul. Ana Maria Medina. Maria Luisa Rodriguez. Graduating cum laude,
Mariana Nicole Mendiola. Celinda Raquel Mendoza. Fernando Tadeo Mendoza. Graduating summa cum laude, Barbara Elizabeth Montoya. Izela Marie Mora. Jonathan Morales. Luisa Fernanda Moreno. Janice Alexandra Ochoa. Pamela Denise Ornelas. Cristina Orozco. Angelica Ortega. Daniela Ortegon. Shari Ovallu. Victoria Palacios. Graduating summa cum
laude, Nydia Krizzel Pena. Juan Francisco Penaloza, III. Graduating cum laude,
Kassandra Ruby Perez. Daisy Olivas. Graduating cum laude, Venessa Prince. Claudia Ramirez Perez. Aiden Edwin Rendon. Sandra Monica Reyes. Alejandro Rocha. Cesar Ines Rodriguez. Cristell Paulina Rodriguez. Eunice Abigail Rodriguez-Guerrero. Gerardo Guadalupe Rodriguez, Jr. Ricardo Rodriguez. Samantha Jean Rodriguez. Sylvia Annette Romero. Kiara Janylet Riojas. Jessica Rosales. Leticia Salazar. Zulema Bernadette Salazar. Alejandra Salinas. Graduating cum laude, Daniela Salinas. Graduating cum laude,
Mikayla Amber Luna Samiano. Miguel San Miguel. Graduating summa cum laude, Kevin Sanchez. Abril Anahi Santos. Eduardo Santos. Graduating magna cum laude, Amanda Irene Sarmiento. Brenda A. Servin. Nydia Solis. Alberto Soliz, Jr. Claudia Yasmin Terrazas. Geraldine Tienda. Stephanie Ann Torres. Carlos Alfredo Valdez. Alejandra Del Carmen Valenzuela. Graduating magna cum laude, Karen Annette Vallejo. Iris Gabriela Vasquez Guerrero. Ana M. Vela. Lionel Omar Vela. Paola Teresa Velazquez. Anakaren Vergara Salinas. Genaro Villalobos, III. Dinorah Villarreal Alanis. Kathryne Elyse Williams. Gustavo Guadalupe Zavala. Maricella V. Cadena. Alberto Gonzalez. Ricardo Guerrero. Ricardo Alexandro Garza. Graduating magna cum
laude, Alejandro Mireles. Alexis Reyes. Adan Villanueva. Victoria Esther Alexander. Graduating magna cum laude, Andres Aranguren Barrado. Graduating magna cum laude, Karla Melissa Calderon Garza. Mitzi Ileana Cantu. Mario Gerardo Casillas, Jr. Graduating cum laude, Karla M.Castillo. Janie Janel Castro. Cristian Cavazos. Graduating summa cum
laude, Anacristina Chapa. Aracely Abigail De La Torre. Marisol De Leon. Gabriel Flores. Georgette Galvan. Alan Garcia. Griselda Alejandra Gomez-Gil. Jose Enrique Gomez, Jr. Graduating summa cum laude, Melba Gomez-Salinas. Graduating magna cum
laude, Jorge Gonzalez, Jr. Karla Gonzalez. Oscar Daniel Gonzalez. Graduating magna cum laude, Elizabeth Courtney JaMae Green. Alberto Antonio Gutierrez, Jr. Edgar Omar Hernandez. Graduating magna cum
laude, Roger Hernandez. Jose Anastacio Ledesma. Graduating magna cum laude, Erick Daniel Lopez. Roxana Lopez Vila. Graduating magna cum laude, Jessica Ysabel Lozano. Maritza Anabel Lozano. Jose Luis Mata, Jr. Graduating cum laude, Alejandra Mendez. Erika Stephanie Montemayor. Edgar Alexis Morales. Hector Jesus Moreno. Chelsey Brooke Nielsen. Graduating magna cum laude, Michelle Nunez. Vanessa Loralie Nunez. Esteban Otero, Jr. Jesus Gerardo Perez Rodriguez. Sergio Perez, Jr. Graduating magna cum laude, Elizabeth Nicole Prieto. Alberto Gerardo Ramirez, Jr. Victoria Ramirez. EmmaJo Asusa Robledo. Graduating magna cum laude, Adrian Robles-Arenas. Jose Humberto Rodriguez, Jr. Marisol Rodriguez Mendoza. Graduating magna cum
laude, Yuridia Rodriguez. Graduating magna cum laude, Guillermo Saul Romero. Jorge Alfonso Rullan. Jesus Saldana Marin. Guillermina Sanchez. Mario Santos, IV. Adalberto Serna. Sergio Ricardo Sifuentes, Jr. Roberto Torres Saenz. Samantha Denise Ugarte. Alejandra Valdez. Monica Maryel Vargas. Graduating magna cum laude, Homero Javier Vela-Gomez. Agustin Velazquez. Raquel Adriana Yanez. Joban F. Aguirre. Miriam Larissa Aguirre. Jorge Alberto Alba. Maria Magdalena Alejo. Graduating cum laude, Artfred Alvarez. David Reyes Avila. Mercedes Hortencia Camacho. Beverly Anne Carrillo. Rosa Isela Chaires. Orlando Contreras. Cosme Geraldo Cortez. Jon Keith Cox, II. Edgar Esquivel. Graduating cum laude,
Karina Michelle Estrada. Estrella Laura Galvan. Charles Austin Garay, Jr. Alejandra Izamar Daniela Garcia. Graduating magna cum laude, Brenda Garcia. Elizabeth Marie Garcia. Roberto Garza-Saenz. Graduating magna cum laude, Dora Elia Gonzalez. Rafael Gonzalez Rodriguez. Vanessa Guel. SueEllen Guerrero. Gitzel Gloria Hernandez. Blanca M. Hinojosa. Rodrigo Azahel Ibarra. Jonathan William Lafrenz. Graduating cum laude, Gabriela Elizabeth Lara. Brenda Viridiana Leal. Daniel Magallanes. Gustavo Cesar Martinez, Jr. Oscar Martinez. Chelsea Elizabeth Meador. Dinora Yvette Mendiola. Sergio Emmanuel Mendiola. Hector D. Mireles. Graduating cum laude, Luis Daniel Morales. Edith Alejandra Nuno. Melissa Guadalupe Parra. Diana Yesenia Perez. Rodolfo Perez. Abraham Quiroga. Graduating magna cum laude, Patricia Ramirez. Dayra A. Ramos. Graduating cum laude,
Miguel Vicente Rangel. Cynthia Yvette Rodriguez. Karla Kristal Rodriguez. Ronnica Ann Salazar. Christian Eduardo Salinas. Salvador Alberto Segura. Daniel A. Silva. Garrett Michael Taggart. Graduating cum laude, Ana Karen Vasquez. Andrea Anai Vela. Ricardo Verduzco. Elsa Raquel Villalon. Kristian Yia-did Villarreal. Juan Antonio Vizcarra, Jr. Luis Daniel Zavala, Jr. Ladies and gentlemen, a round of applause for the baccalaureate graduates from the College of Arts and Sciences. (audience cheers and applauds) – [Voiceover] On behalf of the
entire university community, I congratulate each of you upon the completion of your degree. In a few moments, graduates, you will go forward into this beautiful Laredo early summer morning. Your diploma proclaiming your readiness to enter that company of men and women, prepared by university experience to labor, to lead, to inspire. We in the university have
done what we can for you, now it is your turn. Contrary to what is often asserted, I assure you that the world
waiting outside this campus is no more daunting or cruel or complex than the world has ever been. All literature in history, most
especially ancient writings, record the same dizzying, confusing array. Cruelty and mercy,
ignorance and enlightenment, greed and charity, falsehood and truth. Different, fragile, without precedent, is a government and a society conceived in liberty and
dedicated to the proposition that all men and all
women are created equal. Thomas Jefferson articulated it, George Washington brought it to life, Abraham Lincoln preserved it, Eleanor Roosevelt saw it clearly and helped us understand what it meant, Cesar Chavez and Martin Luther King brought reality and dream together. I challenge you, therefore, as you begin your work and your new life, inspired by these examples, prepared by this university
and this splendid faculty, this conviction that the
dignity and the welfare of each man and each women is for all of us together,
our most precious possession. May it be said of you when you are done, we are better because he passed by, we are better because she was here. I invite you now to join
me and salute the faculty and the staff of this
university that carried you, mentored you, and loved
you to this moment. (audience cheers and applauds) A special thanks to Dr. James Moyer, the TAMIU Symphonic Band for this wonderful music
throughout the entire ceremony. And now I invite Dr. John Alaster Love to offer some words for the Texas A&M International
University Alumni Association. (applause) – [Voiceover] Good
morning, fellow Dustdevils. We have 306 more members of the Alumni Club as of this morning. (audience cheers and applauds) Dr. Keck may have been trying to give me a subliminal message. I first came to Laredo about 14 years ago for my master’s degree, and maybe I need to come
back now for my doctorate. Nevertheless, this is
an extraordinary crowd, and I believe we live in
an extraordinary place and have had an extraordinary opportunity to be here at TAMIU. I would argue that this is probably one of the tougher places in the world, and I’ll share with you my
brief story about TAMIU. I again, came here 13 years ago. It was August. Mr. Albritton, it may have felt like I saw a dust devil because
it was about 120 degrees. But I think that heat and/or cold, and/or extreme places, breed tough people. And what I have found from my experience, with not only Laredo, but TAMIU, is that you will be
extraordinarily prepared to go forth and achieve
all that you want for you, your family, and your community. Part of graduating, or
being part of a club, is that you have a network, and so not only have
you taken forth skills that will aid you in your future, but you’re now part of a club. And so alumni clubs work
in several different ways, but one of the greater parts of it is that you’re now part of a network. So I sincerely hope that you will become a part of the Alumni Club, but also utilize everything
that is a part of that. There are graduates in every
field that you can imagine. There are graduates in
almost every country that you can imagine. So please use the club and
the part of the network that you have now become a part of. Congratulations. (applause) – [Voiceover] Thank you, Alaster. Now, I invite you all to
stand and join music student, Alexis Reyes, in singing the alma mater, which is printed on the
back of your program. After which, Josh Llamas, outgoing President of Student
Government Association, will offer a prayer of gratitude. ♫ Near to Rio Grande’s waters ♫ Stately towers above the plain ♫ Stands our noble Alma Mater ♫ Wisdom raised for all to gain ♫ Binding nations, hearts and visions ♫ Aspirations ever new ♫ Hail to thee our Alma Mater ♫ Hail to thee dear TAMIU ♫ Here, ’neath sun and gentle breezes ♫ Dove and deer lodge safely by ♫ May thy children safe in wisdom ♫ Flourish ever ‘neath the sky ♫ Pledge we faith and homage ever ♫ Joined in our diversity ♫ May time ne’er efface the memory ♫ Of our university ♫ Binding nations, hearts and visions ♫ Aspirations ever new ♫ Hail to thee our Alma Mater ♫ Hail to thee ♫ Dear TAMIU ♫ (audience cheers and applauds) – [Voiceover] We would
like to invite all alumni, family, and friends, to dedicate this time for a moment of silence,
meditation, or prayer. And gentlemen, please remove your hats. As we gather this morning in celebration of our academic accomplishment, we are grateful for the completion of this stage of our lives and for the opportunities and
challenges that lie ahead. We acknowledge all those
events over these past years. The joys, hard work, and
even the difficulties, at times accompanied by sadness, for without them we wouldn’t have become the men and women that we are today. We ask for the strength to
change our global landscape, for strength of mind and spirit to productively coexist with
our fellow human beings, and for achieving peaceful
solutions to our global problems. May our new alumni never
forget this part of their lives and may our efforts prove fruitful. Go in peace. (applause) – [Voiceover] You may be seated. At this time I would like to
recognize three individuals, two of whom who are up here
on the stage this morning, who combined have served Texas A&M International
University for 88 years. Ms. Candy Hein, who is
not with us this morning, but will be here later today, Associate Vice President
for Institutional Research, is retiring in mid-July
after 23 years of service at Texas A&M International University. (applause) Dr. Conchita Hickey, Dean
of University College. Conchita, please stand, is retiring at the end of this month after 39 years at this university. (audience cheers and applauds) And President Keck, who is leaving us to take the helm of Texas
A&M University at Commerce, after 26 years at Texas A&M
International University, 15 of which has been our president. We wish each of you success
in your new endeavors, and please don’t forget Texas
A&M International University. (audience cheers and applauds) Congratulations, Texas A&M
International University’s Spring 2016 graduates. This concludes our ceremony. Thank all of you for joining us. Have a wonderful day. Celebrate your success, for
your journey has just begun. And you get several hours on the rest of the graduates because they’re gonna graduate later in the day. I ask those of you who are in the audience to please remain in your seats until the stage party and
the graduates have recessed. Thank you very much for coming. (audience cheers and applauds) (“Recessional March” by
TAMIU Symphonic Band)

Dereck Turner

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