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OLLU congratulates graduates during fall commencement exercises

The degrees have been conferred, and OLLU welcomes 325 new graduates as alumni. Graduates from the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business and Leadership, the School of Professional Studies and the Worden School of Social Service participated in commencement exercises Saturday, Dec. 15 at Freeman Coliseum. View list of fall 2012 graduates

Veronica Salazar EscobedoOLLU alumna, civic leader and community volunteer, addressed graduates and their guests during the ceremony. Escobedo retired from the San Antonio Express-News in January 2005 after a 35-year career with the paper where she founded the Community Relations Department in 1982, served as vice president of community relations, and was president of the Express-News Charitable Foundation. She has been awarded OLLU's "Outstanding Alumnus" Award, Lifetime Achievement Award from the San Antonio Association of Hispanic Journalists, induction into the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame, Spirit of Philanthropy Award from the Nonprofit Resource Center of Texas, and the Media Excellence Award from the San Antonio Professional Chapter of the Association for Women in Communications among many other awards.

OLLU graduate, Vanessa Barron, provided some inspiration for everyone during the ceremony. Barron was pulled from a horrific auto accident in December 2008. With severe injuries to her head and spinal cord, she was given a three percent chance of surviving. If she overcame those odds, doctors said, she would suffer from brain damage and never walk again.

Saturday, with a standing ovation from her fellow graduates and the audience, Barron walked across the stage to receive her bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education with a specialization in Special Education. 

The fall class of 2012 also presented a check for $1,108.95 to the Lake Fund for scholarships for current and prospective students.

OLLU congratulates all fall graduates.

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