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Senator Judith Zaffirini: District 21
Press Release
March 25, 2015
Contact: Will Krueger
(512) 463-0121
Senator Zaffirini Welcomes Students from Mexico and Spain to Texas Capitol

(AUSTIN) — The Texas Senate today (Wednesday) passed a resolution by Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, paying tribute to students from Mexico and Spain who attend The University of Texas at Austin.

Senator Zaffirini also celebrated the students with a reception, sponsored by BBVA Compass, in the historic Lieutenant Governor's Reception Room in the Texas Capitol. The event gave students an opportunity to interact with legislators and top-ranking UT officials, including UT System Chancellor Bill McRaven and UT-Austin President Bill Powers.

"As the first Hispanic woman in the Texas Senate and a proud Texas Ex, I am delighted to welcome these students from Mexico and Spain to the Texas Capitol," Senator Zaffirini said. "Excellent exchange programs such as those offered by UT-Austin not only promote intercultural exchange and understanding, but also enhance the educational experience for students both in Texas and abroad."

Welcoming the students to the State Capitol were Senator Zaffirini; McRaven; Powers; BBVA Compass Vice Chairman of the Board Bill Helms; and BBVA Compass Austin Market CEO Joe Petet.

"BBVA, our parent company in Spain, has operations all over the world, so the idea of learning about new cultures and collaborating across borders is really important to us," Petet said. "Every one of the students here today has shown a great deal of determination in coming here to study, and we honor their bright futures."

Aniela Zarzar Toraño, an undergraduate student from Mexico studying chemical engineering, gave the students' official response by thanking Senator Zaffirini, legislators, UT officials, guests and the event's sponsors. Alicia Bodas Fernández, a graduate student from Spain studying advertising, accepted an official Senate proclamation commemorating the event.

Students from Mexico have studied at UT since 1940, and the university's Graduate School of Business offers joint degree programs with Mexican higher education institutions. More than 580 students from Mexico and 33 students from Spain are enrolled at UT. What's more, 89 UT students are studying in Mexico, and 447 are studying in Spain.

"We hope that international students will master not only their selected fields of study, but also develop deep relationships that will help them promote friendship, harmony, and commerce between our sister countries," Senator Zaffirini said.

Z photo

STUDENTS FROM MEXICO AND SPAIN who attend UT-Austin were honored Wednesday with a reception sponsored by BBVA Compass at the Texas Capitol. Shown (L-R) are Alicia Bodas Fernández, a graduate student from Spain; BBVA Compass executives Rita Garza, Yolanda Davila, Joe Petet and Susana Valencia; UT-Austin President Bill Powers; BBVA Compass Vice Chairman Bill Helms; UT System Chancellor Bill McRaven; Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo; and Aniela Zarzar Toraño, an undergraduate student from Spain.