Texas A&M University-Kingsville’s Javelina Alumni Association honored seven individuals at the IBC Bank sponsored Distinguished Alumni Awards banquet, which was held in the Student Union Building ballrooms Friday evening.
The purpose of the awards is to recognize proud Javelinas who have created a difference through either their role in the community, as a humanitarian, political activism, or any other noteworthy attribution. Five of the seven honorees listed in the agenda were also featured in a complimentary program booklet, courtesy of the TAMUK Office of Marketing and Communications. Embossed with a blue and gold silhouette of College Hall, the program also contained short biographies and photos of the distinguished members.
President of the Javelina Alumni Association, Anissa Hernandez said, “We have a nomination committee that is very selective with the applications for [distinguished awards] and the faculty awards due to the amount of submissions…it’s a big night for everyone!”
Distinguished Alumni award recipients included: Larry R. Busby, Dr. Jose A. Gutierrez, Harold L. Hees, and Alvaro “Al” Hinojosa.
Justin Munoz, director of alumni affairs shared his thoughts on the evening. “It’s an amazing night where we honor all those who have gone above and beyond after leaving TAMUK. It’s an honor to represent Javelina Nation as a distinguished alum, as well as a ‘Rising Star’ which is an individual who is recognized early on 15 years past graduation.”
Dr. Veronica Ancona, assistant professor of Citrus Pathology at Texas A&M University-Kingsville Citrus Center in Weslaco, was awarded the Rising Star plaque for in depth research and its relationship to the South Texas region within a 15-year span of her graduation from Texas A&M University-Kingsville. For his research, Dr. John Da Graca, director of Citrus Center was given the Distinguished Research plaque. Dr. Greta Schuster, professor of Agronomy and Resource Sciences, also received a plaque for Distinguished Teaching.
Alvaro “Al” Hinojosa, distinguished guest, has served as president of the Javelina Alumni Association in the past for several years. He felt honored and humbled to be selected one of the five recipients. “There are many alumni who are deserving of this great honor. This is a humbling experience.”
A reception took place before the event allowed guests to mingle. Former recipients and newly titled distinguished alumni wore yellow rose boutonnières. In addition to the social, a silent auction also took place. Items such as jewelry, gift baskets, framed photos, and centerpieces were donated.