• The San Juan Daily Star

CROEM’s Class of 1971 honored at reunion

The group that was recognized are the students who graduated from the CROEM School 50 years ago and who are responsible for the creation of the CROEM ALUMNI organization.

By The Star Staff

The Alumni Students Association of the Residential Center for Educational Opportunities of Mayagüez, better known as CROEM ALUMNI, recently honored CROEM’s Class of 1971, including Major General Lester Martínez López appointed by President Joe Biden as assistant secretary of defense for health affairs.

The group that received the recognition are the students who graduated from the CROEM School 50 years ago and who in turn are responsible for the creation of the CROEM ALUMNI organization, an entity dedicated to helping the public school operated by Puerto Rico’s Department of Education.

Several of Martínez López’s classmates are planning to attend his confirmation ceremony.

“The major general, along with his wife Lydia Ramírez Kurtz, sister of former Cabo Rojo Mayor Roberto Ramírez Kurtz, traveled to Puerto Rico to share with his former classmates from CROEM, a school founded in 1968 by Dr. Ramón Claudio Tirado. As it is known, this institution serves the needs of talented students with an advanced academic offering that emphasizes science, mathematics and technology in a residential living environment 24 hours a day,” said Reinaldo Camps Gerena, a founding member of CROEM and presidential delegate in charge of the event. “We are very happy to have among us this CROEM graduate who will be part of President Joe Biden’s team as of Monday.”

The CROEM Center has been recognized as the number one school in Puerto Rico, having completed 53 graduations and benefited more than 10,000 students on the island.

“This moving ceremony organized by CROEM ALUMNI recognized the 1971 Class, possibly the group of Croemites who have cared most about the CROEM school,” said Wilson Nazario, executive director of CROEM ALUMNI. “The Croemites of ‘71 not only founded the CROEM ALUMNI, they are also responsible for not opposing attempts to change the name of the school following legislation introduced by former House Rep. Maricarmen Mas. For this class reunion, many colleagues traveled from Europe and different parts of the United States and all received a special certificate in commemoration of their 50th anniversary of graduation.”

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