from Near and Far Celebrate with Graduates at Commencement
Katherine Archuleta, Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, speaks at the 2014 UT Brownsville Spring Commencement on Saturday, May 10, 2014 at the Student Union Lawn in Brownsville, Texas.
Mendoza’s mother was in town from Lima, Peru.
am so happy and so very proud of Luciana; I have always believed in her,” Tula Mendoza
said. “I want to thank this university for giving Luciana the opportunity to
obtain her bachelor’s and master’s degrees.”
who received her Master of Public Policy and Management, achieved the title of
Woman International Grand Master by the age of 16; she came to UTB six years
ago as an undergraduate on a scholarship to join the UTB Chess Team.
Star Ocelot Volleyball player Danika Markovic had the thrill of seeing her
mother, father and brother in the audience. From Subotica, Serbia, the family
members will be in town for a couple of weeks, taking in the sights and
enjoying South Padre Island.
Juan Torres is congratulated by Music Professor Dr. Kenneth Saxon during the 2014 UT Brownsville Spring Commencement on Saturday, May 10, 2014 at the Student Union Lawn in Brownsville, Texas.
and friends received a bilingual greeting from Dr. Juliet V. García, UTB
President, recognizing the wonderful gift that all the mothers in the audience
would be receiving on Día
de las Madres – their child
graduating with a university degree.
said that her greatest struggle was to be fully present in her children’s
lives, as her mother was for her, and it was with the strong support of her
husband, mother and close friends that she was able to accomplish being a
mother, full-time student and full-time employee,” García said. “To Maria Eugenia
and all of the mothers graduating today: Happy Mother’s Day!”
speaker, Katherine Archuleta, began her remarks by asking students
to reflect on those who have supported them in numerous ways – up to and
throughout their years as a university student – and to thank them for all
their help and sacrifices.
ago, I was sitting in an audience just like this,” said Archuleta, the Director
of the U. S. Office of Personnel Management. “Like many of you, I was the first
in my family to graduate from college. And like you, I didn’t do it alone.”
Dr. Juliet Garcia and her granddaughter Julieta Rico ring the university bell during the 2014 UT Brownsville Spring Commencement on Saturday, May 10, 2014 at the Student Union Lawn in Brownsville, Texas.
also urged the students to think of those who have preceded them in their
journeys, those who make up the roots of success in the Rio Grande Valle. She
spoke of her friend and mentor, Brownsville native Federico Peña, who became
the first Mexican-American Mayor of Denver, the first Latino U.S. Secretary of
Transportation, and the first Latino U.S. Secretary of Energy.
President, Juliet García, was also born in Brownsville,”
Archuleta said. “She and her two brothers were the first generation in her
family to go to college. When she was appointed President of Texas Southmost
College in 1986, Dr. García became the first Mexican-American woman to be
president of a college or university in the United States.”
said she never dreamed when she started out as an elementary school teacher
that she would become the first Latina political director for a national
I would become the first Latina to head the U.S. Office of Personnel Management,”
she said. “But I did know to follow my passion for public service. I had mentors
who helped guide my path.”
concluded her remarks to the students with the mandate to “dream big.”
have to let your passions, you have to let your instincts help lead you down
the path to a future that that none of us here today can imagine,” Archuleta
said. “Dream big. Take risks. Push yourself. Don’t take no for an answer. Don’t
just think about what’s possible. Strive for the impossible.”
Dr. Juliet Garcia with lawmakers being recognized during the 2014 UT Brownsville Spring Commencement on Saturday, May 10, 2014 at the Student Union Lawn in Brownsville, Texas.
stories on UTB graduates: