For Ron Brokmeyer, the OXY Scholars Luncheon held April 12 at The University of Texas-Pan American gave him a rare opportunity to see how the scholarships his company established are benefitting Rio Grande Valley students seeking higher education.
Brokmeyer is the president and general manager of OXY USA Inc. - South Texas Business Unit, an international oil and gas exploration and production company. The company established a partnership with UTPA less than a year ago and has already donated more than $25,000 in scholarships and to support the Hispanic Engineering, Science and Technology (HESTEC) conference.
The luncheon, held at the ITT Executive Room, brought together the OXY donor with five student scholars who received scholarships for the 2012-2013 academic school year.
Mario Zamora, a senior electrical engineering major, was recently notified that he was selected for the OXY scholarship.
"It is so great to be able to meet them face-to-face and express our gratitude and how thankful we are for the investment they made in us," Zamora said.
Zamora said there was no way financially his mother could have paid for his education and scholarships are what have enabled him to stay in college.
"I don't have to be worrying about how I am going to pay rent and bills. I can focus on my school work. It keeps me motivated to perform better in my classes, and will really help a lot," Zamora said. "I appreciate it so much."
Brokmeyer said he was drawn to the potential of the University, particularly its highly acclaimed engineering department, and the luncheon gave him the chance to give words of encouragement to the scholars.
"It gives the students an opportunity to see who is giving them the money and to identify with somebody who is in the industry working after getting a college degree," Brokmeyer said.
The gathering also gave the students a chance to say "thank you" personally.
"It's great to be able to express our appreciation and I think they (donors) appreciate it too," Zamora said. "We get the chance to express how much the funds have helped and they leave the luncheon happy knowing how much their money has helped."
For more information on how you can support UTPA, call the Development Office at (956) 665-5301.