What can you do with a bachelor of business administration degree from UM’s School of Business Administration? University of Miami can add another famous alumni to its ever growing list of celebrities. How about president? Not a United States president but a president of a nation none the less.
Porfirio “Pepe” Lobo, a rancher and farmer who earned his bachelor of business administration degree from UM’s School of Business Administration in 1970, is Honduras’s new president-elect, swept into office during weekend balloting in the Central American nation that showed him winning by a strong margin.
“The University of Miami has a diverse, international student body,” said Donna Arbide, the University’s associate vice president of Alumni Relations. “Thanks to our central location in the hemisphere, we have provided many students from Latin America with a rigorous college education. We are proud that their experience at UM prepares our alumni to become tomorrow’s leaders in their own countries.”
Lobo’s election comes after a coup earlier this year threw the country into crisis. In a statement issued Sunday, the State Department commended Hondurans for “peacefully exercising” their right to vote, noting that the electoral process began well before the June 28 ouster that removed President Manuel Zelaya from office. “This shows that given the opportunity to express themselves, the Honduran people have viewed the election as an important part of the solution to the political crisis in their country,” the statement read.
Susan Kaufman Purcell, director of the University’s Center for Hemispheric Policy, a think tank examining issues of importance in the region, said she intends to invite the president-elect to speak at one of the center’s symposiums after his inauguration.
“Perhaps at our annual Latin American Conference next spring,” said Purcell, who recently wrote an article on Honduras that appeared in the Latin American magazine América Economía.
Purcell said Lobo, a member of the National Party who has pledged to form a government of unity, faces the formidable challenge of gaining support from other countries in the hemisphere that have so far said they will not recognize him or the election.