Three prominent Valley residents - Dr. Ramiro Casso, M.D., of McAllen, San Benito school board president David A. Garza, and Edinburg businessman J. Humberto Rodriguez - have been selected as speakers for three commencement ceremonies at 11 a.m. and 2 and 5 p.m. at The University of Texas-Pan American Fieldhouse Dec. 20.
Casso is scheduled to address the graduates at the 11 a.m. ceremony for the Colleges of Arts and Humanities, Health Sciences and Human Services, and Social and Behavioral Sciences. He received his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, is on the board of four McAllen hospitals, is a member of the Health Planning Advisory Committee of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council, and is a founder and charter member of the Board of Directors of the Hidalgo County Health Care Corporation for indigent patients. In 1991 he was appointed to a six-year term on the Texas Board of Health by Gov. Ann Richards. He was honored as Man of the Year by the McAllen Chamber of Commerce in 1996.
David A. Garza, president of the San Benito CISD School Board, is scheduled to address graduates of the College of Education at the 2 p.m. ceremony. Garza, who is the owner and pharmacist of the Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy in San Benito, received his pharmacy degree from The University of Texas at Austin.
Garza has been a member of the San Benito school board, which was named an Outstanding School Board of Texas in 1997 by the Texas Association of School Administrators, for 10 years. He was named to the Blue Ribbon Education Council by Gov. Richards and participates annually in the Distributive Education Clubs Youth Employment Programs.
J. Humberto Rodriguez of Edinburg, CEO and president of Exquisita Tortillas Inc., is the scheduled commencement speaker at the ceremony at 5 p.m. for graduates from the College of Business Administration and the College of Science and Engineering.
Rodriguez, who graduated from Pan American College with a BBA in marketing, is a past president of the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce and has served as chairman of the U.S. Small Business Administration Advisory Council (Region VI), the Rio Grande Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Rio Grande Valley Empowerment Zone. He is on the board of the International Bank of Commerce and the UT Pan American Center for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development. He was named "Minority Small Business Person of the Year" in 1992 by the Small Business Administration (Region VI).