Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Lieutenant Hiram Perez Named a Bringer of Light

KINGSVILLE - November 22, 2011

Contact: Jason Marton
jason.marton@tamuk.edu or

HiramPerezLuminaria.JPG

            Lieutenant Hiram Perez of the University Police Department has been named a “Bringer of Light” by the campus group Servants of Las Luminarias. 

            An anonymous collection of campus community members, the Servants of Las Luminarias select those that they feel are “bringers of the light of the knowledge of goodness to the Texas A&M University-Kingsville campus community.”   

            As a fall honoree, Perez received a ceramic “luminaria,” or large ornamental candle holder, a peace lily holiday arrangement and a framed certificate of recognition. The certificate states that Perez had, through word and deed, “selflessly and consistently shone the light of goodness into our midst.” 

            “I was pretty surprised to find the award,” said Perez. “The lights are normally on in my office, so when I saw them off, I wondered what was going on. But things like this you don’t expect.  

            “It is an honor to be recognized as a bringer of light. I’m humbled to be a part of that special group.” 

            Perez has been with Texas A&M-Kingsville for more than 35 years. Before he was a member of UPD, Perez worked with cars. After attending automotive school in Phoenix, he worked at a shop in San Antonio, then returned home to Kingsville to work at a service station and help care for his parents.  

            While working at the full-service station, Perez had a friend working with Texas A&I Security – the precursor to the University Police Department. Perez was ready to try something different for a career, and asked his friend to let him know when an opening came up. The friend did just that and Perez got the job, but he wasn’t sure if he liked it at first.  

            As time went on, the job duties began to grow and vary, and Perez liked what he did more and more. Among the new duties were classroom presentations and talks at Hoggie Days, speaking on drug and alcohol awareness and campus safety. 

            “It takes something special to stand in front of a group of people. I know it took me some time to get used to it. Because it was a part of my job, I made myself learn to like it. Now it’s second nature to me.” 

            Perez noted that the job has the satisfaction of helping the campus community, and serving as a mentor to students. “You get to build friendships with the students. Some start out homesick, some want to party. Then you see them change. They wise up, get serious and start studying. When you watch them walk down the aisle at commencement…it makes you proud.” 

            In Perez’s 35-plus years of service, he’s had four different directors and a lot of university presidents. “It’s amazing how many presidents I’ve worked with. I walk into the Founders’ Room, look at the wall of presidential photos, and I realize I’ve worked with about ten presidents.” 

            For Perez, learning new things and keeping up with training are some of the most fulfilling parts of his job.  

            The people of the campus, new challenges of the job and variety in his workday – which can run 16 hours long on home football game days – are the things that have kept Perez at Texas A&M-Kingsville for so long. Are there any plans to close out his career? 

             “I’d like to stay and hang out as much as possible. Sometimes my wife is ready for me to retire, but I’ll hang out here until they get tired of me.”  

             Perez makes a special point to credit his wife Lisa and daughter K.C. for being patient and understanding of his other marriage – to his job, he notes.
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