Tags: luciano barraza | university of wisconsin

Luciano Barraza's University of Wisconsin PhD Ceremoniously Awarded 50 Years Later

Image: Luciano Barraza's University of Wisconsin PhD Ceremoniously Awarded 50 Years Later
Luciano Barraza. (Screengrab of video post/@wkow.com)

By    |   Tuesday, 19 December 2017 11:15 AM

Luciano Barraza participated at the University of Wisconsin winter commencement this past weekend, some 50 years after he earned his doctoral degree from the institution, thanks to the persistence of his grandson.

Barraza, 77, could not attend commencement in 1967 because of a job in his native country Mexico did not allow him to make the trip, WKOW-TV reported.

Raul Correa, 17, who would not be born for another 33 years after the missed commencement, took up his grandfather's cause earlier this year, calling the university some 200 times over the course of nine months in an attempt to convince them to let Barraza participate in a ceremony, the television station said.

"I told myself I was gonna do something and nobody was gonna tell me no, " Correa told WKOW-TV.

In a university release, Barraza, who has lived in San Antonio with family since his retirement in 2001, said the thought about that time still touches him.

"Even now, I get very emotional just talking about it," Barraza said. "It reminds me of all of the things that happened when I was young and how much the university was able to provide me in developing my professional career."

The university said some two dozen family members as far away as Spain attend the graduation ceremony. It was a fitting end to Correa's efforts, a high school senior who called his grandfather his "best friend."

"When he told me that his economic woes had outweighed his ability to participate in his graduation ceremony, I got this crazy idea to contact Madison," Correa said, estimating he sent about 150 emails to the university along with the phone calls.

Luciano Barraza went on to work for several national and multinational companies, including Inter-American Development Bank, a large source of financing for Latin America and the Caribbean, the university said. His son, Carlos Barraza, earned his law degree from the university in 2002.

All four of Barraza's children have advanced degrees, the university noted.

"While my father had an extremely successful career, I don't think he'd want his worth measured in titles or money," Carlos Barraza, a deputy district attorney in West Chester, Pennsylvania, told the university. "It probably means more to him that he raised four responsible, well-educated, contributing members of society."

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Luciano Barraza participated at the University of Wisconsin winter commencement this past weekend, some 50 years after he earned his doctoral degree from the institution, thanks to the persistence of his grandson.
luciano barraza, university of wisconsin
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2017-15-19
Tuesday, 19 December 2017 11:15 AM
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