June 11, 2012
John Sharp, chancellor of The Texas A&M University System, and Regents Jim Schwertner and Elaine Mendoza joined Texas A&M International University officials in Laredo today for the naming of TAMIU’s University Success Center in honor of State Senator Judith Zaffirini. The naming was approved during a special telephonic meeting of the Board on June 8.
Sharp, a former colleague and friend of the senator, said he was honored to help celebrate the naming of the Senator Judith Zaffirini Student Success Center. “There is no bigger champion of higher education in our state than Senator Zaffirini and certainly no larger influence on the campus of Texas A&M International University,” he said. “This recognition is a tribute to her work for students and our immense gratitude to her.”
“Senator Zaffirini is and has remained a spirited leader for higher education in Texas,” said Schwertner. “Her fingerprints can be seen on virtually every aspect of the education system. It is entirely appropriate that we now honor her with this lasting recognition on such an important building in her hometown.”
The Center, made possible by state funding initiated by Zaffirini in the 2006 Legislative Session approved by Lt. Gov. Dewhurst, centralizes essential student services areas under one roof. Current and prospective students are able to access needed services to apply for admission, take placement exams, register for classes, apply for financial aid, request transcripts, pay for classes, buy books and obtain academic counseling services, all in one location.
TAMIU president Ray Keck said Zaffirini’s support of higher education was critical to all institutions, but most especially for TAMIU.
“She knows education. She is herself a product of a remarkable education. She maintains a laser focus on TAMIU and is deeply engaged in the life of our institution and our students. From helping to secure legislative funding to helping us to attract critical student scholarship support, she is front and center. Her tireless advocacy and leadership have been pivotal in TAMIU becoming a major regional university of choice.
“Likewise, her role on the Senate’s Higher Education Committee has given her a substantial responsibility for education statewide which she discharges with deep commitment and resolve. What better building to have her name associated with than one that dedicates itself, like her, to student success?”
About the A&M System
The A&M System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $3.3 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities, seven state agencies and a comprehensive health science center, the A&M System educates more than 120,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. Externally funded research expenditures exceed $780 million and help drive the state’s economy.
Contact: Steven B. Moore