CONTACT: Julie Martinez




KINGSVILLE (September 1, 1998) -- Retired Army Lt. Gen. Marc Cisneros, 59, is used to leading troops into battle. Today marks the start of a new duty for him as a he takes over as president of Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

Cisneros was introduced today by Dr. Barry B. Thompson, chancellor for The Texas A&M University System and Deputy Chancellor Dr. Leo Sayavedra during a news conference held on his first day on the job.

He was chosen from a group of applicants and was one of four finalists who visited the university and went through interviews by employee contingents of Texas A&M-Kingsville.

Cisneros is a native of Brownsville and grew up in Premont, only 30 miles from Kingsville and his new job. He was selected Aug. 19 by a unanimous decision of The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents.

Thompson said Cisneros was the obvious choice to lead the university into the new millennium.

"Lieutenant General Cisneros has certainly proved his leadership abilities during such military conflicts as the Vietnam War and 'Just Cause' in Panama," Thompson said. "But his military experience--coupled with his strong character--has additionally sharpened his feeling of obligation toward the young people of our nation, his support of advanced technology and his

sense of accountability to the public.

"It is these kinds of qualities that will add up to successful leadership of Texas A&M University-Kingsville," Thompson said.

Growing up in South Texas, Cisneros was involved in ranching and Future Farmers of America. He earned a bachelor of business administration degree from St. Mary's University in San Antonio, followed by a master of arts degree in public administration from Shippensberg State College in Pennsylvania and a post-master's equivalent from the United States Army War College, also in Pennsylvania. In 1993, Cisneros was named a distinguished alumnus of St. Mary's.

Cisneros' 35-year military career began as an ROTC Distinguished Military Graduate commissioned in the Army field artillery in 1961. He served two combat tours in Vietnam and one in Panama, where he was recognized for limiting battle damage and casualties and for helping to capture Gen. Manuel Noriega. His military service primarily involved combat arms operational and command positions, and he was part of the leadership team that transformed the Army into its modern state in terms of advanced technology.

Cisneros retired from the Army in 1996 and joined Fluor Daniel Inc. as general manager of its Government Services Operating Company. He is a well-respected leader of the San Antonio community.

In 1997, Cisneros was named one of the "100 Most Influential Hispanics" by Hispanic Business magazine. He was appointed by Gov. George W. Bush to the state Jail Standards Commission and by President Bill Clinton to the U. S. Military Academy Board of Visitors. He also serves as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

He was twice awarded the Distinguished Service Medal--the Army's highest achievement award during peacetime.

Cisneros has been married for 34 years to Eddy Virginia Durham, formerly of Raymondville.

Texas A&M-Kingsville is a proud regional university with nationally recognized programs in engineering, agriculture, wildlife and the sciences. Its student body is 62 percent Hispanic with representatives from 32 states and 55 foreign countries. The university is known for developing the nation's first doctoral degree in bilingual education, and its Citrus Center developed the famous Star Rudy and Rio Red grapefruits, which are marketed under the name Rio Star and enjoyed around the world.

Texas A&M-Kingsville consistently ranks among the country's top 10 producers of Hispanic engineers and has the only accredited program in natural gas engineering in the nation.


Return to September News Releases