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|South Park Junior College|
Lamar State College of Technology
|Motto||Living the Legacy, Inventing the Future|
|Established||September 17, 1923|
|Endowment||$123 million (2018)|
|634 (as of 2014)|
|Campus||Urban, 299 acres (1.21 km2)|
|Colors||Red and White|
|Athletics||NCAA Division I - Southland|
|Nickname||Cardinals / Lady Cardinals|
|Mascot||Big Red the Cardinal|
Lamar University, often referred to as Lamar or LU, is a public university in Beaumont, Texas. Lamar has been a member of the Texas State University System since 1995. It was the flagship institution of the former Lamar University System. As of the fall of 2019, the university enrollment was 15,460 students. Lamar University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The university is named for Mirabeau B. Lamar, the second president of the Republic of Texas.
Louis R. Pietzsch founded a public junior college in Beaumont's South Park. Lamar University started on September 17, 1923 as South Park Junior College, operating on the unused third floor of the new South Park High School. Pietzsch acted as the first president of the college. South Park Junior College became the first college in Texas to receive Texas Department of Education approval during the first year of operation, and became fully accredited in 1925.
In 1932, the college administration, recognizing that the junior college was serving the region rather than just the community, renamed it as Lamar College. It was named for Mirabeau B. Lamar, the second president of the Republic of Texas, who arranged to set aside land in counties for public schools. A statue of him was installed in the quadrangle of the campus near the Setzer Student Center. In 1933, the college was moving toward independence from South Park High School when construction began on new facilities. By 1942, the college was completely independent of the South Park school district, and operations moved to the current campus.
With the end of World War II, an influx of veterans boosted enrollment. The Lamar board of trustees asked the Texas Legislature to promote Lamar College to a four-year state college. The initial attempt in 1947, led in the Texas House of Representatives by Jack Brooks and in the Texas Senate by W. R. Cousins, Jr., failed, but the following year the two sponsors again advanced the bill through both houses. On June 14, 1949, Governor Beauford Jester signed the bill creating Lamar State College of Technology.
Enrollment continued to grow throughout the 1950s and 1960s, reaching 10,000 students. Graduate work was authorized in 1960, when master's degrees were offered in several fields. In 1969, Lamar State College opened its first branch at a center in Orange, Texas. In 1970, Lamar State College began offering its first doctoral program, the Doctor of Engineering. In 1971 the college's name was officially changed to Lamar University.
A group of African American veterans of World War II, barred from admission on the grounds of race and calling themselves the Negro Goodwill Council, protested to Governor Beauford Jester about the exclusion of blacks from Lamar State College. They attempted to block passage of the bill to change Lamar into a state-supported senior college, which resulted in John Gray, Lamar's president, creating a black branch of Lamar called Jefferson Junior College. It opened with evening classes at Charlton-Pollard High School. In 1952, James Briscoe, a graduate of Charlton-Pollard High School, applied to Lamar. His parents were laborers and members of the Beaumont chapter of the NAACP. The admissions office notified him that on the basis of his transcript, he was qualified to enroll for the spring term of 1951. On January 29, when Briscoe went to register for classes, Lamar's acting president G. A. Wimberly explained that a mistake had been made and suggested he apply to TSUN, now named Texas Southern University. State law, he said, created Lamar for whites only. In the summer of 1955, Versie Jackson and Henry Cooper, Jr. became the lead plaintiffs of a class action lawsuit, Jackson v. McDonald, which sought to end Lamar's policy of racial segregation. Lamar Cecil, federal judge, ruled on July 30, 1956, that Lamar's "white youth" only admissions policy was unconstitutional and that September, a total of twenty-six blacks were admitted to the college amid violent protests at the campus gates and throughout the region for a number of weeks until Texas Rangers arrived and the rule of law restored.
In 1975, the university merged with Port Arthur College in Port Arthur, Texas, creating Lamar University-Port Arthur. In 1983, state Senator Carl A. Parker sponsored a bill creating the Lamar University System. In 1986, Lamar University-Orange and Lamar University-Port Arthur were granted accreditation separate from the main campus. Lamar Institute of Technology was created in 1990 in Beaumont to provide technical, business, health, and industrial education through programs two years or fewer in length.
In 1995, the Lamar University System was incorporated into the Texas State University System. In the fall of 1998 the Lamar University faculty numbered 423 and student enrollment was 8,241. Total enrollment reached 15,000 students in Fall 2012. In the late 1990s, Lamar began undertaking campus improvement projects.
In March 2005, the gym underwent extensive renovation and adjacent to it, a new recreational sports center was built. The $19 million center, named the Sheila Umphrey Recreational Sports Center, opened in April 2007.
Montagne Center, home of Cardinals Basketball
In August 2007, the University completed construction on Cardinal Village IV, a $16-million expansion of its residence halls. The University completed construction of Cardinal Village Phase V in August 2010 bringing on-campus housing capacity to 2,500 students.
The University, in anticipation of the return of football program in 2010, renovated and upgraded Provost Umphrey Stadium (formerly Cardinal Stadium) and a new state-of-the-art Dauphin Athletic Complex. In October 2014, Lamar broke ground for an administration building to be named the Wayne A. Reaud Building. The building houses the newly established Reaud Honors College. Another recent project included renovation of the Setzer Student Center. The renovation project had a $28,000,000 cost. The renovated building was opened on April 12, 2018.
Lamar offers 96 undergraduate, 50 master's and eight doctoral degree programs in seven academic colleges. The academic colleges are the College of Engineering, College of Education and Human Development, College of Business, College of Fine Arts and Communication, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Graduate Studies, and the Reaud Honors College. Lamar is classified as a Doctoral Research University by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education and is one of only two universities classified as such within the Texas State University System. Lamar and Kunming University of Science and Technology in southwest China have an exchange program that allows Chinese students to attend Lamar for one year while pursuing their bachelor's degree.
The university also has many academic units that fall outside of the five main colleges. The College of Graduate Studies handles graduate students. The Center for Teaching and Learning Enhancement offers training and support to faculty and runs the university's Active and Collaborative Engagement for Students (ACES) Program. The ACES program is designed to provide support to high risk students and integrate active learning methods into all core courses at LU. The university also provides secondary education through the Texas Academy for Leadership in the Humanities, stateu.com and the Texas Governor's School.
In the summer of 2009, Lamar University partnered with the University of Texas at Arlington to create an online dual credit program for high school students in Texas, stateu.com. The partnership between the two universities operates at the website stateu.com. Online dual credit courses are available for free to high school students through state funding via House Bill 3646.
The BAAS online degree completion program, an expansion of a degree the University has offered for almost 20 years, is offered online through Lamar University Academic Partnerships. The online degree completion program is priced affordably at one of the lowest tuition rates in the country.
In August 2010, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) released a study on core curriculum standards for 715 four-year institutions. The study compared colleges on their commitment to core subjects deemed essential to a well-rounded, competitive education. Lamar was one of only 16 institutions to receive an A rating. The study was featured in the Washington Post with a tag line "Forget Harvard and think Lamar." In October 2010, the University announced they would raise admission standards for the second time in two years because of the increased enrollment. The enrollment standards increase took effect in the fall of 2011.
Lamar is ranked in Tier Two of "National Universities" by the U.S. News & World Report's 2015 ranking. According to the site, 76.6% of students who applied to Lamar in 2013 were admitted. Lamar is ranked in several 2015 U.S. News & World Report categories.
Lamar is ranked #602 in Forbes 2014 America's Top Colleges report.
Lamar' Engineering college had an overall ranking of #185 in the nation, #55 in the South, and #11 in Texas in the current best-engineering-colleges.com ranking of engineering colleges. In the same report, Lamar's General Engineering School ranking was #18 in the nation, #6 in the South, and #2 in Texas.
The College of Engineering has 10 research centers under its authority. These are coordinated under the Texas Centers for Technology Incubation (TCTI). The college also participates in the Texas Space Grant Consortium, which sponsors research on space based technologies.
The Dan F. Smith Department of Chemical Engineering was established with a $5 million donation from Dan F. Smith in 2009. The program continually produces the same or more M.S. in Chemical Engineering graduates than universities such as Stanford, IIT and MIT. The building housing the Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering program was dedicated the Charles and Eleanor Garrett Engineering Center in Fall 2012.
The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering offers eight degree programs.
The Philip M. Drayer Department of Electrical Engineering was endowed with a $5 million gift from Philip M. Drayer in 2007. The department has many successful alumni in the industry including Phil Drayer (LUEE '67), and Charles Garrett (LUEE '59) inventor and founder of Garrett Metal Detectors.
The Industrial Engineering department offers two undergraduate degrees: B.S. Industrial Engineering, and B.S. in Industrial Technology; and four graduate degrees: Master of Engineering Industrial Engineering, Master of Science Industrial Engineering, Doctor of Engineering in Industrial Engineering, and Master of Engineering Management.
The Mechanical Engineering department offers both undergraduate degree (B.S) as well as graduate degrees, consisting of degrees programs in Master of Engineering ( M.E.), Master of Engineering Science (M.E.S) and Doctor of Engineering (D.E.). The department is affiliated with ASME and ASTM.
The University established the College of Business in 1972. Prior to this time, degrees in business and economics were granted by the Division of Business, which was established in 1951, and the School of Business, established in 1954. All undergraduate and graduate degree programs of the College of Business are accredited by AACSB International.
Four departments - Accounting and Business Law; Economics and Finance; Information Systems and Analysis; and Management and Marketing - make up the College of Business. The Bachelor of Business Administration degree is granted in all areas. A Bachelor of Science degree is granted in Economics. In Fall 2008, the College of Business acquired a new program, the Reese Construction Management program, with a $1.25 million donation from Jerry and Sheila Reese. The program is headed by Steve McCrary Ph.D.
The Aspen Institute Center for Business Education's 2011-2012 edition of Beyond Grey Pinstripes ranked Lamar's MBA program in the top 100 in the world for the third consecutive year. In November 2010, Janie Nelson Steinhagen and Mark Steinhagen created the Janie Nelson Steinhagen and Mark Steinhagen Global Fellows Endowment in the College of Business. The endowment will provide graduate students and faculty with opportunities to gain first-hand knowledge of the global marketplace. Students taking advantage of the Steinhagen Global Fellows Endowment will travel abroad accompanied by a College of Business faculty Steinhagen Global Fellow. They will participate in classes and seminars with other students, visit businesses and experience the culture of the country - all at an advanced level.
Through the Entrepreneurship Lecture Series, endowed by a business alumnus, students and faculty have the opportunity to be inspired by the world's leading entrepreneurs. The series brings high profile and dynamic speakers to the campus yearly.
The College of Education and Human Development comprises five departments: Educational Leadership, Family & Consumer Sciences, Health & Kinesiology, Counseling and Special Populations and Professional Pedagogy.
The teacher preparation and education graduate programs of the College of Education and Human Development are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) at both the initial teacher preparation and advanced preparation levels. Lamar is among the largest educators of teachers in the nation due to its large Masters in Education program.
The College hosts the Governor's School of Texas, a three-week summer program for gifted high school students.
The College of Arts and Sciences' fields of study include Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Biology, Chemistry, Nursing, Music, English, Earth Science, Foreign Language, History, Political Science, Criminal Justice and Psychology. The College is home to the JoAnne Gay Dishman School of Nursing. The nursing department consists of BSN and ADN degrees. The master of nursing online program in the Lamar University JoAnne Gay Dishman Department of Nursing has been ranked second in the nation for excellence in faculty credentials and training by U.S. News & World Report in Fall 2012.
The College of Fine Arts and Communication offers degree programs in communication fields such as Journalism and Broadcasting, Speech and Hearing sciences, Sign Language, and Deaf Education. Lamar University is one of five universities in Texas which offer a clinical doctorate in audiology program. Fine arts degree programs such as Art, Theater, Music and Dance department programs are housed in the Music, Theater, and Art buildings. The college is home to the Mary Morgan Moore Department of Music. The department of communications operates LUTV, a local educational access television station, and KVLU (FM 91.3) a National Public Radio station. The Department of Art's faculty includes internationally acclaimed artists Keith Carter and Prince Varughese Thomas.
The Reaud Honors College, established in the fall of 2014, became the ninth honors college in the state of Texas. The honors program has been part of the university's academic offering since 1963. The 45,000 sq ft Wayne A. Reaud Building, which houses the honors college as well as university administration offices, broke ground on October 7, 2014. The honors college is a member of the National Collegiate Honors Council and the Great Plains Honor Council.
The Lamar University campus is located off of Martin Luther King Boulevard, near U.S. Highway 69, in the southeast part of Beaumont, Texas. The campus is 7 miles (11 km) from the Jack Brooks Regional Airport, 2 miles (3.2 km) from the Neches River and 5 miles (8.0 km) from Downtown Beaumont. The Big Thicket National Preserve, Village Creek State Park, and the Gulf of Mexico are all located within 30 minutes of the school. Facilities include the 10,080 seat Montagne Center, the eight-story Mary and John Gray Library and the 16,000 seat Provost Umphrey Stadium.
Cardinal Village is the university's community of apartment-style dormitories, part of Lamar University's investment in student life on campus. As of 2010, there were five "Phases" of Cardinal Village with the capacity to house 2500 students. Each room includes a private bedroom, furnished with the necessities of college life such as a mini-refrigerator, microwave, computer desk, telephone outlets, cable TV access, and easy connectivity to the University's network. Cardinal Village housing also offers community centers, study areas, meeting rooms, fitness centers, a swimming pool, on-site laundry facilities, basketball and volleyball courts, social lounges, and parking. During the summer of 2011 all five phases of Cardinal village were renamed for previously-demolished residence halls on campus: Phase I - Gentry Hall, Phase II - Morris Hall, Phase III - Combs Hall, Phase IV - Campbell Hall and Phase V - Monroe Hall.
The tallest structure on campus at eight stories, the Mary and John Gray Library serves as a landmark for the university. Named after Mary and John Gray, considered to be the "first couple" of the university, the red brick structure took two and a half years to complete. The library holds extensive physical and digital collections, including 395,003 physical books, 99,548 e-books, and 142 digital databases, and provides access to current journal content from 48,851 journals. The library provides its users with a variety of digital tools, such as the online catalog and EBSCO EDS, an integrated search discovery system that allows single searches across multiple databases. Faculty and students can gain access to materials not held by our library through a robust interlibrary loan service and document delivery, in which we purchase journal articles on demand at no cost to the user. A service-oriented staff provides face-to-face, phone, and chat research assistance, as well as extensive subject guides and self-paced online tutorials to assist all Lamar users in using library resources to best advantage.
The Sheila Umphrey Recreational Sports Center was completed in 2007 at a cost of $19 million. The construction included renovation of the McDonald Gym, which had previously served as the university's sports center and home of the volleyball program. The naming of the center was made possible by a $5 million donation by local attorney Walter Umphrey in 2005. The 129,550-square-foot (12,036 m2) center includes a 13,000 sq ft (1,200 m2) cardiovascular room, a one-tenth-mile walking/jogging track, a 43-foot (13 m) climbing wall, basketball, indoor floor hockey/soccer arena, volleyball, badminton courts, and racquetball courts. The center also sports a wellness and fitness center, health food café and juice bar. The lounge areas include pool tables, putting green, air hockey, foosball, video games and large screen TV. The center is home to the Recreational Sports Office, which organizes and hosts intramural sports leagues and sport clubs teams such as volleyball, basketball, flag football, cricket, badminton, indoor soccer, pool, ultimate frisbee, and tennis. The tennis club made back-to-back appearances at the national tournament as they won 'Club of the Year' for 2015 and 2016.
The University's Brooks-Shivers Dining Hall was completed in 2006 for $6.2 million and is named for Southeast Texas congressman Jack Brooks and former Texas governor Allan Shivers. The 25,000-square-foot (2,300 m2) hall is set on a food court-style floor plan that offers a variety of seating areas from barstools to booths. Dining options range from a salad bar, grill and central bakery to pizza, stir fry, Mexican food, pasta, deli and soup stations. The facility has interiors which include artwork created by Lamar University art students and faculty. On-campus food services are provided by external company Chartwells, which, in addition to the dining hall, provides options including franchised fast food chains and coffee shops.
The Setzer Student Center (or the "Set," as it is known by students) hosts social and cultural activities throughout the year and is the hub for campus student organizations. The lounge areas, Mirabeau's Café and the Cardinal's Nest eatery provide students with a place to socialize and relax. The Setzer Center also houses the bookstore, which stocks textbooks, school supplies, and Lamar University/Lamar Cardinals merchandise. Administrative divisions located in the Set include the Center for Teaching and Learning Enhancement and the Office of Planning and Assessment.
During the Spring 2012 semester, the Student Government Association, led by then-president Andrew Greenberg, passed a student-wide referendum to finance renovation and remodeling the Setzer Student Center. The vote was passed with 81% approval. The $28 million project was completed in 2018 with reopening of the center on April 12, 2018.
The Dishman Art Museum serves as a teaching facility and art museum for Lamar. It was established in 1983. The museum offers students an opportunity to experience diverse styles that reflect international trends, as well as a chance to exhibit their own work. Admission is free. The museum's permanent collection includes 19th- and 20th-century paintings from American and European artists, as well as tribal art from Africa, New Guinea, and Pre-Columbian Mexico.
The Spindletop-Gladys City Museum is an open-air museum. The museum commemorates the 1901 discovery of oil by the Lucas Gusher in Beaumont. The oil discovery was located on Spindletop salt dome in South Beaumont. The boomtown that sprung up around the well was known as Gladys City. 100,000 barrels of oil were soon produced per day, making it the most productive in the world at that time. This productivity sparked an oil boom in Texas that continues to this day.
The "Lamar Cardinals" (or "Cards") refers to the collegiate athletic teams of Lamar University. The inception of the nickname "Cardinals" dates back to the school's name change to Lamar in 1932. The teams compete in NCAA Division I athletics for all of its varsity sports. Lamar has participated in practically every level of collegiate athletics from its inception as a junior college in 1923 to its gaining university status in 1971. Lamar fields teams in each of the seventeen sports the Southland Conference sponsors. Lamar sponsors fifteen teams (seven men's and eight women's) that compete in the NCAA's Southland Conference for those seventeen sports. The newest teams are the reinstated football team beginning in 2010, and women's softball which began play in the 2013 season. With the addition of softball, Lamar is the only Southland Conference program to sponsor all men's and women's sports.
Under former head coach Larry Kennan, Cardinal fans responded when he delivered a 6-3-2 club in 1979, his first season with the team. Lamar set all-time attendance records under Kennan by averaging 16,380 in 1980. Games against Louisiana Tech (17,600) and West Texas State (17,250) rank second and third, respectively, behind the standing-room-only 18,500 Baylor drew for the 1980 opener. The football program's signature win came on September 5, 1981 in Waco; the Cardinals triumphed with an 18-17 win over the UPI #20 ranked Baylor Bears. In 1987 Lamar football went independent to join the American South Conference, and the program was dropped altogether in 1989.
On January 30, 2008, 78% of Lamar students voted to approve the athletics fee required for football's resurrection. This vote set in motion the football team's return for the 2010 season. Regents of The Texas State University System approved the athletics fee to reinstate football at its regular meeting February 20, 2008. On May 19, 2008, Ray Woodard was chosen as head coach for the football program. Thanks to a major gift from an anonymous donor, the football field now bears the name W.S. "Bud" Leonard Field, named for a former player and longtime Lamar advocate and regent.
The Lamar University Cardinals football team returned to the gridiron after a 21-year hiatus, on September 4, 2010. The first-year squad compiled a respectable 5-6 record. The Cardinals opened Southland Conference play in 2011. The return of football to Lamar University is in part due to a generous donation from Beaumont-based law firm Provost Umphrey. To help renovate the stadium, Walter Umphrey and his wife Sheila also made a personal donation. The stadium is now named Provost Umphrey Stadium.
In December 2016, Mike Schultz was named the program's second head coach since its return. After recording just one winning record in its first nine seasons since being brought back, Schultz guided the Cardinals to a 7-5 record and a third-place finish in the Southland Conference in just his second season. After a 1-4 start to the year, LU closed the regular season by rattling off six-straight wins to earn the program's first berth in the NCAA FCS Playoffs where it faced Northern Iowa.
Founded in 1924, the men's and women's basketball teams at Lamar have both advanced deep into the NCAA tournament. The men's team has four NIT appearances, six NCAA tournament appearances, four second round appearances, and one sweet 16 appearance. The women's team has four WNIT appearance, two NCAA tournament appearances, and one Elite Eight appearance.
The men's program has been coached by fourteen head coaches including Billy Tubbs, Pat Foster, Pat Knight and Tic Price, the current head coach. The women's team has been coached by thirteen head coaches including current head coach, Aqua Franklin.
The Lamar Cardinals baseball team represents Lamar University and competes in the Southland Conference, and is an NCAA Division I program. Current head coach Will Davis was hired from LSU in January 2016 to replace legendary coach Jim Gilligan. A former player, Gilligan guided the program for all but five seasons (1987-91) from 1973 through 2016. The LU Hall of Honor and Texas Baseball Hall of Fame member won more than 1,300 games during his career. The Cardinals baseball teams lead the Southland Conference with 10 regular season titles and has participated in the NCAA Division I Regionals 13 times.
In fall 2018, Lamar enrolled almost 15,000 students. The student body was 36% male and 64% female. Ethnically, 47% identified as White, 25% Black/African-American, 18% Latinx, 4% Asian, 3% International, and 2% Other.
The University Press, also known as the UP, is the student newspaper of Lamar. The paper was previously known as the S'Park Plug and the Red Bird before becoming the University Press in recognition of Lamar gaining university status in 1971.
"91.3 FM KVLU public radio is an NPR affiliate station broadcasting throughout southeast Texas. It is licensed to Lamar University with studios located on campus and a transmitter site located in Rose City. Launched in 1974, the station operates independently and features a diverse 24/7 schedule of programs including NPR news morning, midday and afternoon as well as locally produced music programs, local features and radio documentaries, etc. As part of the University's College of Fine Arts and Communication and the Lamar University Media Alliance, KVLU also serves as a real world laboratory, providing training in audio broadcasting and radio production for students interested in pursuing careers in communication. The station is largely member supported with additional support coming from the University and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting as well as program underwriters."
LUTV News is the weekly newscast produced by students in the Department of Communication at Lamar University. Broadcast journalism students are required to pitch, shoot, write and edit news content for each week's 30-minute program. Production is led by student producers, directors and crew members, which gives students practical news production experience.LUTV News is broadcast via Spectrum Cable on LUTV-7 in Beaumont, Texas.
Airing on Time Warner Digital Cable channels 0007 and 6.7, LUTV is the official channel of Lamar University and is owned and operated by the Department of Communication and Media. Ch. 7 airs a wide array of programming such as student/faculty films and artworks, promotional videos, distinguished lectures and events, sports games, talk shows, student produced newscasts, public domain films, and documentaries.
The Lamar University Media Alliance (LUMA), consisting of KVLU public radio (91.3 FM); LUTV Productions and LUTV 7 Cablecasting provides outreach programming to serve the general public and hands-on instructional opportunities for students.
Lamar boasts 19 national fraternities and sororities. College Panhellenic Council (CPC) is the governing body for the three National Pan-Hellenic Council chapters at LU. National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) governs the nine historically African American fraternities and sororities. The Inter-Fraternity Council (IFC) governs men's fraternities. The Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) governs three multicultural Greek-letter organizations, two sororities and one fraternity.
The Alumni of Lamar University have gone on to distinguish themselves in every aspect of society. The school has an alumni base numbering over 75,000.
Lamar has the highest median starting and mid-career salary of the four universities in the Texas State University System.
Several Cardinals have gone on to distinguish themselves nationally and internationally in sports, such as PGA Tour golfer Chris Stroud, MLB player Kevin Millar, and college coaches such as Billy Tubbs and Jim Gilligan.
This fall Lamar University student headcount is 15,460, which is the highest number of students ever enrolled at the university. The number of students surpasses the fall 2016 headcount, previously the highest LU Students at tableenrollment, by 3.1%.
With the latest acquisitions, LU's total acreage is 299.1644. The university plans to acquire additional properties surrounding the campus as properties become available.
Dr. Nash has a B.S. in Biology and Chemistry from Lamar University, an M.S. in Microbiology and a Ph.D. in Microbial Genetics and Biochemistry from Colorado State University.
Nash has a B.S. in Biology and Chemistry from Lamar University, an M.S. in Microbiology (1966) and a Ph.D. in Microbial Genetics and Biochemistry (1969) from Colorado State University.
Santos, 46, runs his family's construction company. A former member of Honduras's biggest business chamber, Santos has a degree in civil engineering from Lamar University in Texas.