Notable Alumni

Fortune 500 CEO

The president and chief executive officer of the nation’s largest oil refiner, Valero Energy, Corp., is a product of OLLU’s Weekend College. Gorder earned his MBA while working in Information Technology at Diamond Shamrock. He joined Valero in 2001 and ascended steadily to the top of a company recognized as a global leader in transportation fuels, petrochemical products and power. Gorder has served in many capacities -- including Chief Commercial Officer and President of Valero Europe -- before becoming chief operating officer in 2013 and CEO in May 2014. Gorder presides over a company with $47.3 billion in total assets, 10,000 employees and 15 petroleum refineries with a combined throughput capacity of 2.9 billion barrels a day.

Read more about Joe Gorder
Ten alumni to watch in 2015
New Valero president is a product of Weekend College
OLLU provides leaders for Valero
Executive Success

 
Emmy-Winning Broadcaster

Spanish-language television viewers across the U.S. know Loizaga as co-anchor of Univision’s weekend newscast. Before moving to South Florida, however, Loizaga earned raves as a reporter and anchor for KWEX-TV. She won her first Lone Star Emmy Award -- for news anchoring -- while pursuing a degree at OLLU and maintaining a 3.75 grade point average. While juggling studies, Loizaga covered the Democratic National Convention for KWEX-TV. She shared her second Lone Star Emmy with colleagues for a series of reports. A native of Mexico City, Loizaga scored an exclusive interview with President Obama two months after graduating from OLLU.

Read more about Arantxa
TV anchor pursues degree at OLLU
We've Got South Texas Covered
OLLU alumni: Rising Stars
Ten alumni to watch in 2015

 
Acclaimed Artist

Trevino is celebrated as much for his photo-realism work -- “Mis Hermanos” (1976) belongs to the Smithsonian -- as his miraculously adaptive left hand. A boy wonder artist from San Antonio’s West Side, Trevino won his first contest at age 7 and studied as a teenager under William F. Draper in New York, but lost his right painting arm in Vietnam. Under the guidance of Sisters Tharsilla Fuchs and Ethel Marie Corne at OLLU, Trevino completed, “La Historia Chicana,” a 100-foot mural with his left hand. With one hand and 70 colors, he painted more than 150,000 ceramic tiles and fashioned them into a signature work, “Spirit of Healing,” a 90-foot mural on the face of Children’s Hospital of San Antonio.

Read more about Jesse Trevino
Alumni return to promote 'Best of the West' event

 
NASA Engineer

Less than 10 years after graduating from OLLU, Villegas-Aguilera helped design and assemble the rocket motor of the 327-foot Ares I-X rocket that was launched in October 2009. A solid propulsion systems engineer -- commonly known as a rocket scientist -- Villegas-Aguilera monitored the temperature and performance of the rocket from Mission Control. She says the rocket, which soared 25 miles into the atmosphere before it separated by design and fell into the ocean, is the vehicle that will take future astronauts to the space station and eventually the moon. Villegas-Aguilera received an internship at NASA while studying at OLLU. The internship led to two summer jobs and her work on a historic launch.

Read more about Yvonne Viillegas-Aguilera
OLLU graduate part of NASA moon rocket launch
Ten alumni to watch in 2015

 
Inspiring Entrepreneur

After selling his home, borrowing money and renting a bedroom from his mother-in-law to open his first McDonald’s franchise in 1975, Acosta nearly went bankrupt. He begged God for a miracle. The next day, he received a $300,000 loan. Almost 40 years later, Acosta has handed an astonishingly successful business to his children. The family owns 21 McDonald’s franchises and employs more than 1,400 workers with a payroll of $10 million. Acosta grew up impoverished on San Antonio’s West Side. His parents split when he was 1. A high school counselor told him he was not college material. But Acosta persevered, defied odds and became one of the city’s most successful businessmen.

Read more about Richard Acosta
Alumni Donor Spotlight

 
Trailblazing Psychologist

In October 2014, Dr. Mata-Galan became the first Latina to serve as Chief of Psychology at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System, also known as the San Antonio VA Hospital. She is responsible for more than 100 staff members, which include psychologists and master level clinicians. Her pioneering spirit became evident years earlier. In 2002, she became the first doctoral student in psychology from OLLU to land an internship at the VA. After earning her PsyD, Dr. Mata-Galan became the VA’s first staff psychologist from OLLU. She also started a doctoral practicum for OLLU students at the VA and continues to recruit PsyD students for training at the hospital.

Read more about Emma Mata-Galan
Alumni Donor Spotlight
Ten alumni to watch in 2015

 
Leading Oncologist

Dr. Rodriguez works on the cutting edge of oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. The Vice President of Medical Affairs, she is recognized as an international expert in the treatment of lymphomas and serves as a professor in the Department of Lymphoma/Myeloma. Dr. Rodriguez has led the development of an integrated program for the health of cancer survivors. The multi-layered program addresses the needs of those who have overcome cancer. The daughter of migrant farm workers on the U.S.-Mexico border, Dr. Rodriguez is a sought after speaker in English and Spanish. She has taught many medical students and clinical residents and authored numerous articles.

Read more about Alma Rodriguez
Grad leading cancer survivor initiative
Ten alumni to watch in 2015

 
Former Congressman
Much of Rodriguez’ life has been spent in public service. He served multiple terms in the U.S. House of Representatives (1997-05, 2007-11), served a decade in the Texas House of Representatives (1987-97) and served more than 10 years as a trustee of the Harlandale Independent School District (1975-87). A native of Mexico, Rodriguez moved to San Antonio, dropped out of school at 13 when his mother died and worked at a gas station. He returned to school and graduated, earned an undergraduate degree from St. Mary’s and a master’s from OLLU. While in Congress, Rodriguez helped draft legislation creating Brooks City-Base, championed a variety of veterans’ issues and advocated for increased federal funding of education.