by Francisco M. Maldonado, '99, President, Texas A&M Hispanic Network
COLLEGE STATION, TX - The Texas A&M Hispanic Network is hosting its Annual Summit on Friday, September 24th & Saturday September 25th in Houston, Texas at the Houston Marriott, West Loop by the Galleria. Among the presenters is the new President of Texas A&M University, Dr. R. Bowen Loftin, who will address the Network regarding Texas A&M's Vision 2020, and outline his plan for increasing the number of Hispanics in the student body, faculty, and staff at Texas A&M University. The event will also include educational panels that will address how we can continue to increase the number of Hispanics choosing Texas A&M, and help to make Texas A&M University the #1 destination for Hispanics in Texas and the United States.
The keynote speaker on Saturday is Brigadier General Joe E. Ramirez, Jr., '79, a Distinguished Military graduate and currently the U.S. Army Deputy Director, J5 Plans & Policy for U.S. European Command. General Ramirez is a Houston native and former member of the Corps of Cadets & Fightin' Texas Aggie Band. He has applied and has the full support of the Network as a potential candidate for the Commandant of the Corps of Cadets vacancy. If chosen, he would be the first Hispanic to lead this historic institution, the largest ROTC program in the United States outside the U.S. Military academies.
Currently, Dr. Loftin's Executive Staff has zero (0) Hispanics, and our support of General Ramirez is essential in making sure that Texas A&M follows through with its stated goals of increasing diversity at the highest levels of the university. As a former student, your presence and attendance to the Summit will go a long way in demonstrating our support of General Ramirez and our desire to see strong Hispanic representation at Texas A&M University. With the exception of the Office of the Provost, this is likely the last high-ranking opening at Texas A&M University for quite a while and it is critical that we demonstrate our desire to be reflected in the make-up of the university's leadership.
General Ramirez grew up in Houston and overcame tremendous odds to attend Texas A&M and become a member of the elite Fightin' Texas Aggie Band in the fall of 1975. While in the Aggie Band, he gained the respect of his fellow cadets and was eventually selected to be Commander of his outfit, B-Company “Street Fighters”, a nickname that he inspired. The voice of the Aggie Band ("Now forming at the north end of Kyle Field...."), Lt. Col. Jay Brewer, B-Company Class of '81, had this to say about General Ramirez: “there was a brotherhood in B-Co that was unmatched by the almost reverence that we all had for a guy named Joe Ramirez.”
After graduation and commissioning, General Ramirez rose up the ranks of the U.S. Army to become a Brigadier General and part of the U.S. European command. He will be retiring this year, and returning to Texas to be with his family. We are honored that he has accepted our invitation, and we want to give him a great reception at our event.
Please RSVP to this e-mail NO LATER THAN August 16, 2010, so we can begin to make the proper arrangements and accommodations at the facility hosting the event. Additional information, as well as on-line registration will begin soon. Rooms will be blocked at a discounted rate and registration will be $75.00 per person -- which includes a Friday night reception as well as breakfast and lunch on Saturday.
This year we will be unveiling specific ways you can get involved in the Network activities - activities that help you keep your free time YOUR free time, but also ways you can feel like you are doing your part in giving back to the University that has given us so much. Your attendance to this event is critical in our mission to help increase the number of Hispanic students attending Texas A&M University as well as highlighting your own success as a Hispanic former student and networking with fellow Aggies.