A ceremony was held Friday, Oct. 22 at the Edinburg post office that was renamed for former President of The University of Texas-Pan American, Dr. Miguel A. Nevárez.
The mid-morning ceremony formally designating the Edinburg post office at 410 S. Jackson Road as the Dr. Miguel A. Nevárez Post Office Building was open to the public and attended by nearly 100 people.
Hinojosa said Nevárez's leadership has laid the foundation for the educational advancement of the fastest growing and largest minority group in the country - Hispanic Americans.
"This great American has given so much of himself to the great state of Texas, to all the people in South Texas and to our great nation. His accomplishments will long be remembered," Hinojosa said. "My heart swells with pride that the post office in Edinburg, Texas - an All-America City - now bears the name of Dr. Miguel A. Nevárez."
Mayor Pro Tem for the City of Edinburg Ricardo Rodriguez said Nevárez was a great asset to the town during his tenure at UTPA.
"Every time we needed something from the University, every time we needed his assistance and cooperation, Dr. Nevárez was there to give it to us. Without any hesitation he always opened his door to us," Rodriguez said.
Mary Martinez, manager for postal operations for South Texas, told the crowd the ceremony was honoring an individual who has given the gift of education to thousands of young people in the community.
"Naming a post office in honor of a recognized community leader is not an everyday occurrence," Martinez said. Jokingly she told the crowd, "As a matter of fact, it takes an act of Congress."
"They are the reason my name is on this wall. This year has been one of many tributes," he said. "This of course, is the greatest one of them."
Nevárez accepted the honor "in the name of every student who has struggled to get an education and in the names of students who are yet to get an education in academia. I give my sincere and heartfelt thanks for this lovely, lovely tribute."
In 1981, Dr. Nevárez was inaugurated as the sixth president of the University, making him the first Rio Grande Valley native and alumni to serve in this position.
When he became president, there were only 8,000 students and a small staff. During his 23 years at UTPA, the enrollment grew to more than 17,000 students, the faculty to more than 600 members and facilities have expanded threefold. Nevárez's 23 years of service made him the longest seated Hispanic of any four-year university or college.
The ceremony also officially swore in Edinburg native Ricardo Salaiz as Edinburg's new U.S. Postal Service Postmaster. A replica of the plaque which will grace the post office wall was unveiled at the ceremony's conclusion.