Dr. Cigarroa to Give Commencement Address at A&M International

Dr. Joaquín González Cigarroa, a veteran Laredo physician and member of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), will provide the Commencement Address for Summer graduates of Texas A&M International University during Commencement Exercises at 9 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 15 at the Kinesiology/Convocation Building.

Dr. Charles Jennett, A&M International president, said the University is delighted to have Cigarroa deliver the commencement address for over 120 candidates for undergraduate or graduate degrees.

"Dr. Cigarroa has been a long-time friend of the University and the contributions that he has made toward the University and the educational system in Laredo have been countless. His remarkable professional experience and life journey interest all of us. I know his message to our graduates will be uplifting," Dr. Jennett said.

In addition to his service on the THEBC, Dr. Cigarroa serves as a charter member of the Laredo Medical Group and has had a private practice in internal medicine and cardiology since 1954.

Having graduated from Martin High School as a valedictorian in 1941, Dr. Cigarroa enrolled at the University of Texas the same year and graduated in 1943. He then attended Harvard Medical School and graduated Cum Laude in 1947. He served as a rotating intern at the University of Chicago Clinic from 1947 to 1948 and as an internal medicine resident at Harvard Medical School and Boston City Hospital from 1948 to 1951. He also served as a faculty member and teaching fellow at Harvard.

His work experience includes service as a member of the Hepatitis research team at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, chief of staff of Mercy Hospital and chief of medicine at Mercy Hospital.

Dr. Cigarroa also served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps as a 1st lieutenant during the Korean War. He and his wife, Barbara Flores, are parents of 10 children.

Among honors that Dr. Cigarroa has received are being named laureate of the Laredo Business Hall of Fame in 1996, "Laredoan of the Year" by the Laredo Morning Times in 1994 and "Man of the Year" by the Laredo Morning Times in 1982. In addition, a Laredo Independent District school, Joaquín Gonzalez Cigarroa Middle School, was named after him when it opened in 1983.

A&M International student José Angel Ramírez has been selected to provide the Student Response.

The son of Juan José and San Juanita Ramirez, Ramírez is the oldest of three children and currently resides in South Laredo. He attended Santo Niño Elementary and Dr. Joaquín G. Cigarroa, Jr. Middle Schools. He then attended Dr. Leo G. Cigarroa High School, graduating as that school's valedictorian in 1994.

For the past three years, Ramírez has been a recipient of the prestigious National Hispanic Scholarship award. As a history major at A&M International, he has maintained a cumulative grade point average of 4.0. His plans include pursuing a Ph.D. degree in Mexican American social history.

Marshalls for Summer Commencement Exercises include Dr. Todd Russell, associate professor of psychology and Dr. Sushma Krishnamurthy, assistant professor of biology.

For further 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 through Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu