Judge Elma Salinas Ender will provide the Commencement Address for the 150-plus Fall 1997 graduates of Texas A&M International University at Commencement Exercises scheduled Saturday, Dec. 20 at 10 a.m. in the Kinesiology/Convocation Building.
A&M International president Dr. Charles Jennett said graduates will benefit from the sage words of one of the city's most respected leaders.
"Judge Salinas-Ender is one of our city's treasures. We believe that her life will provide a shining inspiration to our Fall 1997 graduates and we are most appreciative that she joins us for this special day in the lives of our graduates," he said.
District Judge of the 341st Judicial District, Salinas-Ender is the first Mexican-American woman appointed and elected to a District Court bench in the history of the State of Texas and the United States. She was first appointed by Gov. Mark White in 1983 and subsequently elected in 1984, 1988, 1992 and 1996.
Salinas-Ender holds her Juris Doctor from St. Mary's University School of Law. Her BBA in Accounting was earned at the University of Texas at Austin's College of Business' Honors Program of Study.
Appointed by Governor George Bush to serve on an Ad Hoc Committee to rewrite the Code of Criminal Procedure in 1995, she has also served on the Texas Supreme Court's Task Force on Foster Care, and as president, vice president and fourth adm. district representative for the Texas District Judge's Association.
A charter member of the Laredo Business and Professional Women's Association and that organization's first "Woman of the Year" for 1992, she is also a member of the first class of Leadership Texas and a Leadership Laredo program initiator.
She participated in the National Hispana Leadership Institute in 1992 at the Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Public Affairs and Center for Creative Leadership. She has served on a number of boards including the St. Mary's University Law School Alumni Board and a number of Statutory Boards, including the Webb-Zapata Adult Probation, Webb County Juvenile Board, Webb County Auditor's Board, Webb County Community Justice Council, Texas Lyceum Association, Inc. and the Laredo Communities in Schools Advisory Board.
Named one of the 75 most Influential Hispanics in Texas and recipient of a 1996 Brillante Award from Texas Hispanic Magazine, Judge Salinas-Ender was one of the first 10 women inducted into the Laredo Commission for Women's Hall of Fame and is a recipient of the Rosewood Gavel Award from St. Mary's University School of Law.
She received the National Mexican American Women's Association's Las Primeras Award and was featured in the book Texas Women: A Pictorial History from Indians to Astronauts by Ruth Winegarter.
A parishioner and lector at St. Patrick's Church, she is married to David Ender. The couple has two daughters.
For more information on Spring Commencement Exercises at Texas A&M International University, please contact the Office of Public Affairs at 326 - 2180.
University office hours are from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. The University will be closed for the holidays Dec. 22- Jan. 2.