News Release Library
April 8, 2013

Maria Otero to Serve as 2013 Commencement Speaker for St. Edward's University

Maria Otero, former Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights at the Department of State under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, will serve as 2013 Commencement speaker for St. Edward’s University.

The commencement ceremony takes place at the Frank Erwin Center at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 11, 2013. Ms. Otero will also be awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa honorary degree.

During her tenure, Otero oversaw U.S. foreign policy related to democracy, human rights, population, refugees, trafficking in persons, rule of law, counter-narcotics, crisis prevention and response, global criminal justice, and countering violent extremism.

Otero was formerly the president and CEO of ACCION International, a leader in microfinance working in 25 countries. During Otero’s tenure as CEO, ACCION’s network of microfinance institutions expanded from serving 460,000 people to more than 3.7 million, through a combined portfolio that grew from $274 million to nearly $3.6 billion. As such, she was a pioneer in microfinance, women’s issues and poverty alleviation.

In June 2006, Otero was appointed by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to the UN Advisors Group on Inclusive Financial Sectors. She has also served on the board of the U.S. Institute of Peace. Otero has chaired the board of Bread for the World, and also served on the boards of the Calvert Foundation, Public Welfare Foundation, and the Inter-American Foundation.

Born in La Paz, Bolivia, Otero moved to the United States at the age of 12. Otero holds an MA in literature from the University of Maryland, and an MA in international relations from the School of Advanced International Studies at The Johns Hopkins University.

Bill Munday to Receive Honorary Degree from St. Edward’s University

The Board of Trustees approved the awarding of an honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, to William F. Munday, which he is scheduled to receive at this year’s commencement ceremony.

This award is intended to honor Munday’s exceptional commitment to philanthropy, the mission of St. Edward’s University, and his success as a business leader and entrepreneur. Bill and his wife Pat are the university’s largest donors, having contributed more than $36 million since 2003. The Mundays’ commitment to the university’s mission and access to education began in 2003, when they provided a $500,000 endowment for scholarships. Most recently the Mundays gave $20 million to the school’s endowment to be used for future scholarships.

2013 Commencement Weekend Schedule

Friday, May 10 - Hilltop Send-Off

6:30 p.m. - Baccalaureate Mass

7:45 p.m. - Legacy Walk - Graduates arrive in your cap & gown (do not wear your hood), at the Recreation & Convocation Center parking lot, where graduates will line up & begin the procession. Family & friends will walk to the Main Building lawn.

8:30-10:00 p.m. - Red Doors Revelry

Saturday, May 11

10:00 a.m. - Graduation Ceremony

Frank Erwin Center, 1701 Red River, Austin, TX 78701