Members of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) at The University of Texas-Pan American gathered to bid farewell to more than 45 engineering graduates during a banquet held at Monte Cristo Golf Course Thursday, May 15.
The University is seventh in the nation in the number of Hispanic engineering students enrolled.
The banquet featured guest speakers David Burris, from the Center Intelligence Agency and Cheryl Cambridge, from the Boeing Company.
Burris, who has been with the CIA for 27 years, emphasized the need to work hard.
"Expectations are great to have, but you have to apply the law of expectations," he said. "Positive expectations bring positive results. Negative expectations bring negative results."
Cambridge, who has worked for Boeing for 30 years, said graduates must be true to themselves.
"Don't get caught up in who you think you should be, and don't let society dictate who you are going to become." she said. "You must do what is in your heart."
SHPE is a national organization of professional engineers that helps serve as role models in the Hispanic community. The national organization was founded in Los Angeles, California, in 1974, and includes student chapters on university campuses across the country.
"We have found that many clubs and organizations recognize their outstanding students for leadership, grade point averages or even just their participation, but SHPE has found it necessary to recognize our graduates for their outstanding perseverance and dedication to reach this feat that very few have accomplished," said Aaron Acuña, SHPE student chapter president.
The UTPA chapter includes 197 members from the electrical, mechanical and manufacturing engineering programs.