April 11, 2003
St. Mary’s University Alumni Association presented the 2003 Distinguished
Alumnus Award to three outstanding alumni at the Alumni Awards Dinner on
April 10, at the DoubleTree Hotel.
The Distinguished Alumnus Award recognizes alumni for distinguished personal
or professional service. The honorees for 2003 are Robert A. Corbo (B.B.A.
’65), president/owner of Corbo Electric Company, Inc.; Robert A. Kiolbassa
(Class of 1958), president/owner of Kiobassa Provision Company; and Alma L.
Lopez (B.B.A. ’65, J.D. ’68), Chief Justice of the 4th Court of Appeals in
Corbo is a distinguished military graduate and was commissioned as a second
in the U.S. Army in 1965. A Vietnam veteran, he served on active duty from
1965 to 1969 and was a member of the U.S. Army Reserves from 1970 to 1986,
retiring with the rank of major.
In addition, he is a past booth chairman of the Fiesta Oyster Bake and his
company helps coordinate the electrical work for the annual event at St.
Kiolbassa was lacking just a few credit hours toward his business degree
from St. Mary’s when he had to withdraw from the University due to the death
of his father. As a result, he took over the family meat packing business,
which donates numerous products to local non-profit groups and
Lopez was sworn in as Chief Justice of the 4th Court of Appeals during a
January ceremony at the St. Mary’s University School of Law. In 1993, she
became the first Hispanic woman appointed to serve on the 4th Court. She was
elected to full, six-year term in 1994, then re-elected to a second term in
2000. Lopez also is a recipient of the law school’s Rosewood Gavel Award for
outstanding judicial service and the Mexican American Bar Association Award
for outstanding achievement.