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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Governor issues proclamation declaring CROEM week

Maj. Gen. Dr. Lester Martínez López was recently confirmed as assistant secretary of defense of the United States Army, the highest position achieved by a Puerto Rican in the Pentagon.

By The Star Staff

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia issued an official proclamation Sunday to declare the period from Feb. 20 to Feb. 26 as CROEM Week and declare Feb. 26, 2023 as the day of the 55th anniversary of the founding of the Mayagüez Residential Center for Educational Opportunities (CROEM) by its Spanish acronym), a school specialized in science, mathematics and technology, CROEM Director Milton Tomassini del Toro said in a press release.

The center has been recognized as the leading public education center in Puerto Rico.

“We are very pleased with the Proclamation issued by Gov. Pedro Rafael Pierluisi Urrutia and certified by the Secretary of the Department of State Omar J. Marrero Díaz, which highlights the initiative and effort of the graduates of our school and members of the class of 1971, Juan Manuel González, Gilberto Mangual and the current executive director of CROEM ALUMNI, Wilson Nazario, who for fifty-two years have dedicated themselves to the fight to help CROEM,” Tomassini del Toro said. “This Official Proclamation also aims to dedicate CROEM Week to the class of 1973, who celebrate 50 years since graduating from this institution.”

The Feria de Los Pueblos, or People’s Fair, is part of the institution’s open house with exhibition pavilions displaying the work submitted by students. In the afternoon, the “CROEM ALUMNI Awards” will be presented to those graduates of the institution who have excelled in their respective professions and activities. CROEM’s 55th anniversary will feature a varied artistic program at CROEM’s Indoor Court. Admission is free of charge.

“As part of the CROEM Week activities, on Wednesday, February 22, 2023 at 2 p.m. at El Capitolio in San Juan, a ceremony will be held led by the Speaker of the Puerto Rico House of Representatives [Rafael Hernández Montañez] and Senate President [José Luis Dalmau Santiago], where a special recognition will be given to Major General Dr. Lester Martínez López, a graduate of the institution who was recently confirmed as assistant secretary of defense of the United States Army, the highest position achieved by a Puerto Rican in the Pentagon, for which he was nominated by President Joe Biden,” Tomassini del Toro noted.

As part of the ceremony, the official flag of CROEM will be presented to the legislators who have been selected as collaborators with the specialized school. Awards will be given to leaders of the companies, industry, commerce and government who have helped CROEM in the past 20 years, such as: New York Councilman Rafael Salamanca Jr.; industrialist José González Freyre; motivator Sheila Otero; Ms. Marta Rivera Plaza, CEO of the San Juan Capestrano System; Luis Rodríguez Díaz, executive director of the Traffic Safety Commission; Puerto Rico Hospital Association Executive President Jaime Plá Cortés; Ramón González Simounet, CEO of Grupo EMPIRE GAS and president of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Puerto Rico; businessman José Mercado Torres, CROEMITA of the Class of 1984 and CEO of Quality Tech Pharm; as well as to Lt. José J. Taboada de Jesús, president of the Puerto Rico Police Members Association; well-known broadcaster Carlos N. Rosario Vega; and television producer and moderator of the program “Jugar Pelota Dura,” Ferdinand Pérez Román.

“Likewise, a special recognition will be given to Dr. Aída L. Díaz Rivera, professor and former president of the Puerto Rico Teachers Association, who during her tenure in the association was a faithful defender of the institution [through] activities to help our center,” said Wilson Nazario, the executive director of CROEM ALUMNI.

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