Gerardo O. Ruiz Wins Distinguished Service Award
Whether in Huntsville or in Mexico, the College of Business Administration will not find a more enduring friend than Gerardo O. Ruiz. A 1975 graduate of the College of Business Administration, Gerardo and his family have been involved with Sam Houston State University since the 1940s, when Gerardo's father Gustavo founded a summer studies program with Sam Houston State University professor Jesse Burleson. Established to provide Sam Houston State University students with the opportunity to experience the Mexican culture while earning academic credit, the Puebla Field School soon became an annual event.
At his father's suggestion, Gerardo enrolled at Sam Houston State University, majored in general business administration and completed his degree in 1975. Unfortunately one year later, due to political unrest in Mexico, the Puebla Field School program was discontinued in 1976.
Gerardo spent the next several years building a career and raising his family. In 1996 he reconvened the Puebla Field School and since then has worked hard to ensure that each year's session is a success. Currently 30 to 50 students and faculty travel to Puebla, Mexico for three weeks in the early summer to study a variety of academic subjects and to participate in field trips around the area. Gerardo provides practical planning and logistical assistance for each school session, arranges for many of the onsite tours that enrich the Puebla Field School experience, and offers the hospitality of his home to field school participants. He and his wife Rosita have taken great care to make each Puebla Field School interesting and exciting.
But some sessions have been especially challenging. In 1997 the volcano Popocatepetl, located near the town of Puebla, erupted. Then, two years later, a major earthquake shook Puebla and the surrounding areas of central Mexico. Gerardo's cool-headed response to both emergencies proved invaluable to Puebla students and faculty and to their friends and families back home.
When he is not making field school arrangements, Gerardo oversees his business -- Industria Electrica de Puebla -- a company that sells wholesale and retail electrical equipment and provides for industrial contracting. He also contributes hours of service to the Puebla Chamber of Commerce, to the Puebla chapter of Rotary International and, as a member of the Advisory Council, to the College of Business Administration. Last spring, on behalf of Sam Houston State University and in recognition of his efforts, the University's Alumni Association honored Gerardo Ruiz at its banquet and presented him with its Distinguished Service Award. It was a fitting tribute to a fine friend.
For more information about this article, please contact the author: Margaret Quarles at (936) 294-4997.