Latest News from Sul Ross May 12, 2014


    Education remains an essential component for change, U.S. Congressman Pete P. Gallego told Sul Ross State University graduates Saturday (May 10).
    Gallego, a first-term Congressman, former Texas State Representative, Alpine native and himself a Sul Ross graduate, spoke at spring commencement exercises on the Alpine Campus. A total of 234 students were candidates for degrees, 162 on the Sul Ross-Alpine Campus and 72 at Rio Grande College.
    As the third Congressman (joining J.T. “Slick” Rutherford, 1955-63 and Albert Bustamante, 1985-93) who has attended Sul Ross, Gallego spoke with pride about his alma mater.
    “One of the coolest things about this place is the persistence of the students,” he said, after taking a survey of awaiting graduates. “What started out as a small college has now grown into a university that provides a top-notch education to thousands of students. Whatever you have studied, we have amazing programs here. You have gotten a first class education that will prepare you for the rest of your life.”
    Gallego also cited notable graduates that included a TV star (Dan Blocker of “Bonanza”), a Major League baseball player (Norm Cash), professional wrestler (Virgil Runnels, a.k.a. Dusty Rhodes), numerous professional rodeo cowboys and others, adding, “I’d put your degree up against any other degree any time.”
    He called the graduates an inspiration to others and encouraged them to use their education as an impetus for change.
    “I love this place (Sul Ross) and I love this town,” he said, referring to enjoyable activities and locations, “but Alpine wasn’t always that way. As a young boy, I remember when Alpine was segregated, when the railroad tracks were the true dividing line between the two sides of town. It was pretty different.
    “Why do I tell you that? Because there were people who didn’t like Alpine that way and they changed it.”
    He urged graduates to use their education to affect change, for breaking family cycles of poverty, violence and crime, or sub-standard employment.
    “We have the power to change it. You can do anything you want to do. It takes work and you need persistence, courage, patience, energy and one more thing: education,” he said. “Education is your ticket. It's the gas in your car. In this great country of ours, you decide how far you want to go. I know that is easier said than done; but it’s doable.”
    Gallego referred to his “fast track” education at Sul Ross, where he graduated in two years, and said, “it was my degree from Sul Ross that broke me away from the rest of the crowd and helped me get where I am today, and it will help you, too.”
    Finally, he emphasized concentration on the truly important things of life, particularly family, and referred to the birth of his son Nicolas as a defining moment in his own life. He told the story of a boy who begged his too-busy father to stop and play baseball with him. The father, hoping to forestall the boy, cut a map of the world in a hundred pieces and told his son when he pasted the map together correctly, he would play baseball with him.
    Within a short time, the boy presented the map to his dad, correctly pieced together. His stunned parent asked him how he accomplished the task so quickly and the boy replied, “on the back of the map was a picture of a man. I figured if I could put the man together, the rest of the world would fall into place.”
    Gallego added, “We hope we put you together correctly so you can go out and get your family educated, too.
    “It is truly an honor to be able to speak to the future leaders, doctors, social workers, teachers, inventors, and entrepreneurs of tomorrow. I am confident that all of you are able to and will impact society for the better.”
    Gallego was introduced by longtime friend Dr. Brian McCall, Chandellor of the Texas State University System and former colleague in the Texas State Legislature.

Sul Ross hosts spring commencement

U.S. Congressman and Sul Ross alum Pete P. Gallego (left, top photo) receives a newly-designed Bar-SR-Bar branding iron from interim President Dr. Quint Thurman. Gallego, a 1982 graduate, delivered the spring commencement address Saturday (May 10).  Nicolas Gallego (bottom photo) captures his dad for posterity prior to the ceremonies. (Photos by Steve Lang)


    Twenty-six new members were eligible for membership into the Zeta Delta Chapter of the Kappa Delta Pi International Education Honorary Society, and 15 attended the initiation ceremony on Friday, May 9.
     Dr. Jeanne Qvarnstrom, counselor for the organization, and Anna Sandoval, El Paso, chapter president, presided over the ceremony, held in the Espino Conference Center, Morgan University Center.
    New initiates are: Cristine Carillo, Midland; Catrina Dworzack, Marfa; Crystal Garcia, Marfa; Blanchie Mae Genao, El Paso; Veronica Herrera, El Paso; Susana Holguin, El Paso; Audrey Holme, Balmorhea; Deborah Jernigan, Alpine; Tamra Jernigan, Arlington; Christopher Kuykendall, Lenorah; Angeliqu Lopez, El Paso; Brandon McDowell, Eldorado; Melissa Mena, Alpine; Polette Perez, Alpine; Kirstie Ramirez, Fort Stockton; Steven Reese, Abilene; James Reynolds, Midland; John Rhine, Comanche; Mihaku Nishizawa-Rodriguez, El Pason; Danette Sandoval, Mico; Toni Sands, Alpine; Matthew Short, Universal City; Anita Smith, Alpine; Megan Strahan, Abilene; Cruz Tovar, Canutillo; and Bonnie Trevino, El Paso.
    Graduation cords were presented to 14 members:  Dworzack; Deborah Jernigan; Kaylee Kocian, Florence; Bonnie Lujan, Marfa; MacDowell, Perez; Ramirez; Amber Rodriguez, Alpine; Anna Sandoval; Danette Sandoval; Emily Sims, Alpine; Naomi Stiles, Carrizo Spring; Tovar; and Trevino.
    Kocian was installed as the president for the 2014-2015 academic year. The initiation ceremony was the concluding activity for the Zeta Delta Chapter for the school year.  Other accomplishments of the chapter included participating in the National Literacy Alive Book Drive and donating books to children in the Alpine Elementary School to promote reading.
    Dr. Larry Guerrero, Dean of Professional Studies, addressed the new initiates and audience, and he recognized the support that families and friends had provided to each of the new members to help them be successful.
    The Society inducts individuals who have exhibited the ideals of scholarship, integrity in service, and commitment to excellence in teaching and its allied professions. Selection as a member of Kappa Delta Pi is based on high academic achievement, a commitment to education as a career, and a professional attitude that assures steady growth in the profession.
    Founded in 1911 at the University of Illinois, Kappa Delta Pi is the largest honor society in education, representing 582 undergraduate and professional chapters and more than 45,000 active members. Its most distinguished members over the last century have included Margaret Mead, Albert Einstein, George Washington Carver, and current leaders in education Howard Gardner, Maxine Greene, and Carol Gilligan.
    For more information, contact Qvarnstrom, (432) 837-8395.

KDP inducts new members

Dr. Larry Guerrero, Dean of the College of Professional Studies, congratulates new members of the Zeta Delta Chapter of Kappa Delta Pi International Education Honor Society. A total of 26 members were inducted during ceremonies Friday (May 9) at Sul Ross State University. (Photo courtesy Dr. Jeanne Qvarnstrom)










Ring ceremony

Alex Martinez, El Paso, who graduated the following day, was one of 20  Sul Ross State University students who received their class rings from interim President Dr. Quint Thurman in ceremonies Friday (May 9) at the Pete P. Gallego Center.  In addition to receiving their rings, participants, including  Veronica Molina, El Paso (bottom photo), branded a plank that will symbolize "riding for the brand" as Sul Ross alumni. Alumni Association president Don Sugarek observes. The plank will be displayed in the Morgan University Center. (Photos by Cheryl Zinsmeyer)