Texas A&M University - Kingsville (formerly Texas A&I University)
It is my pleasure tonight to award TACRAO Honorary Membership to Manuel Lujan.
Manuel began his career in enrollment management in 1978 as the Dean of Admissions and Registrar at Angelo State University. From Angelo State, Manuel moved to TAMU Corpus Christi as the Associate VP of Enrollment Management. And in 2006, Manuel made one final move to TAMU - Kingsville as the VP of Enrollment Management from where he retired this year.
Throughout his career, Manuel has been a respected enrollment professional, a devoted member of TACRAO and a mentor to many of us. Manuel's service to TACRAO spans three decades as he served in various roles as presenter, recorder, moderator, committee chair for multiple committees, TACRAO Secretary and ultimately served as President Elect in 2003-04, President 2004-2005, and Past President in 2005-2006. It was during his President-Elect and Presidential term that I really had a chance to work with Manuel. I'll always be thankful for his leadership and mentorship as I joined the TACRAO Executive Committee to serve my term as VP for Admissions. On a humorous note, Manuel, I will always remember a particular evening we spent hosting NASA astronaut, Storey Musgrave, at the head table for the TACRAO President's Dinner and Opening Session in Houston. He continues to live in TACRAO infamy even to this day.
I called on a few folks I knew had special connections to Manuel to share with me their memories and as they spoke of Manuel a theme of mentorship, caring and most of all, the deep understanding that we are here to see to the success of the students emerged.
Lorris Morris, I mean Lorri Morris, worked for Manuel when he was at Angelo State and told me that she will best remember Manuel for his caring and understanding nature. She relayed a specific story where after just being at Angelo for 3 weeks Lorri not only had to tell her new boss she was unexpectedly pregnant but then, when her son Hunter arrived 3 weeks early, Lorri had to make a 6:30 a.m. call to Manuel to tell him she wouldn't be at their big prospective student event being held that day. She said she'll always remember Manuel's reaction of a hardy laugh and the comment, "It could only happen to you, Morris."
Maggie Hinohosa said of Manuel, "I consider Mr. Lujan to be one of my mentors. HE is the consummate Enrollment Manager, looking out for what is best for students while always keeping the big picture in mind. He is innovative, constantly searching for that new idea or process that would provide student access and ensure success, and always willing to share his ideas and provide advice/guidance when needed. He is a true friend, colleague, and will surely be missed."
Margaret Dechant, although she couldn't be here tonight, wanted to submit the following:
"Mr. Manuel Lujan is one of the original pioneers of Enrollment Management. He is a man of great vision, a leader among leaders, an outstanding teacher and educator and demonstrates the highest level of professionalism and work ethics. He is a role model to everyone who had the honor of knowing him and working with him. When I think about the most influential people who helped mold my career, I think about my great colleague Manuel. It has been my greatest privilege to work with such an outstanding leader and my greatest honor to call him my friend."
To my dear colleague and friend Manuel, Margaret wrote, "I wish you all the best this world has to offer!" This in a few words is Manuel Lujan - a great leader and gentleman who gives tirelessly of himself to help others. May God Bless you and your beautiful family. And Always Remember ... TO STAY RADIO ACTIVE!
When I asked Manuel to share information for use tonight, he sent a resume but it was his family that he highlighted. He wrote, "My family probably represents my most important accomplishments." His wife, Sandra, is here tonight. They started dating while they were seniors in high school and got married right after college in 1972 (44 years and counting). They have two daughters (a dentist and a pharmacist), one son (in the technology industry in Austin) and three beautiful granddaughters.
I love that of all his accomplishments, Manuel highlighted family. Manuel, you've been part of the TACRAO family spanning three decades and it is our great privilege to recognize you with Honorary Membership tonight!