More than 550 Islanders Walk Stage During Island University’s Largest Summer Commencement

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Forever transformed by their time at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, 554 Islanders celebrated years of diligence and hard work as they joined the ranks of nearly 50,000 Islander alumni during the Island University Summer 2019 Commencement ceremony on Saturday, Aug. 10. The ceremony was held at American Bank Center for all six academic colleges. 

Adorned in black robes embellished with cords, medallions, and stoles, elated students entered the arena while family and friends cheered in celebration. As the graduates took their seats, Dr. Kelly M. Quintanilla, President and CEO of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, introduced the commencement platform party, along with keynote speaker, Dr. Eliot Chenaux, former Vice President of Student Affairs Emeritus at A&M-Corpus Christi. In his 38 years at the Island University, Chenaux witnessed firsthand the transition of the University from Texas A&I at Corpus Christi to Corpus Christi State University and finally Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

“My wish for you is that you treat other people with love and respect,” he said. “I challenge you to look at the world we live in, accept people who are different from us, learn to care and to take care of one another. You may become successful. You can have a nice house. You can have a lot of money but you’re not taking that with you in the end. The only thing you will have is what is in your heart.”

For Stacy Ann Martinez, who earned a Bachelor of Art in Communication and graduated Cum Laude, graduation was more than just the culmination of all her hard work. “Ever since a sixth-grade field trip, this has been my dream college. Getting to this step, graduating, is surreal,” said Martinez, a San Antonio native.

Sahyro Enrique Garcia graduated with a Bachelor of Art in Psychology. The Austin native will be attending Texas State University in San Marcos, to pursue a master’s degree in psychology.

“It’s been a great learning experience and a process of growth,” said Garcia. “When I first came here, I didn’t know anybody, but making friends with roommates, people in the hallway, and everybody on campus in general is something I’ll never forget.”

Matthew Frederick Dawod, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science with a minor in Business Administration, is aiming to apply to optometry school in the fall.

“I’m going to miss the camaraderie with classmates and friends,” said Dawod, who thanks his parents for his achievements. “During late-night study sessions, we would fill up an entire whiteboard studying for a class like biology, thinking it was the hardest class we were ever going to take. Then, next year, we would look back and think it was easy.”

Graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, 2nd Lt. Julian A. Del Rosario, was recognized as the fifth Distinguished Military Graduate (DMG) in Army ROTC Islander Battalion history. At a commissioning ceremony on Aug. 9 on campus, Del Rosario was honored with the presentation of a commemorative sword to mark his achievements and transition from cadet to Army Second Lieutenant.

“Hard work does pay off; receiving this distinction validates that,” said Del Rosario, who credits his achievements to his family and ROTC staff. “Even if your goals seem impossible, you can achieve anything if you work hard and surround yourself with great people.”

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 2019 Summer Commencement

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 2019 Summer Commencement Ceremony held at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, TX Saturday, September 10th, 2019 at 10am.

Outstanding Graduates

This summer, two Outstanding Graduates were selected by their respective college for their notable achievements. They included