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Welcome To Five New Trustees

The following individuals have been elected as members of the St. Mary’s University Board of Trustees, Jack Biegler, chairman, announced Nov. 7, 2003.

  • Stephen Dufilho, chairman and CEO of Compass Bank-San Antonio.
  • Jack Paul Leon, attorney at law in San Antonio
  • Donato Ramos, attorney at law in Laredo
  • Chief Justice Alma Lopez of the Fourth Court of Appeals
  • James St. Ville, M.D., an orthopaedic surgeon who is president of Hawthorne & York International, Ltd., Phoenix, Ariz.

Each will serve a two-year term, beginning Nov. 7 and ending May 31, 2005.

Dufilho, a certified public accountant, is rejoining the Board of Trustees after two years, having served as chairman from 1997 to 2001 and as a board member from 1993 to 2001. He earned his master’s degree in economics from St. Mary’s in 1969 and bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of St. Thomas in Houston in 1966.

Throughout his 43-year law practice, Leon has primarily focused on litigation practice, including criminal law. In recent years, he has concentrated on white collar and financial related cases. He received his bachelor’s of business administration degree from Texas A&M University at Kingsville in 1956 and his doctor of jurisprudence degree from St. Mary’s School of Law in 1959. Leon was recognized as a Distinguished Law Alumnus of St. Mary’s in 1985.

A native of Laredo, Ramos practices law in his newly founded law firm, the Law Offices of Donato D. Ramos. A specialist in oil, gas and mineral law, he is admitted to practice law before the Texas Supreme Court, the U.S. Fifth Circuit of Appeals and U.S. Supreme Court. Ramos, who is a member of the Texas Park and Wildlife Commission, is a dual graduate of St. Mary’s with a B.B.A. in accounting in 1968 and a doctor of jurisprudence in 1971.

Lopez, who in January became the first Hispanic woman to take over as chief justice of the Fourth Court of Appeals, was appointed the court in 1993 by then-Gov. Ann Richards to fill an unexpired term. She was elected to a full six-year term in 1994 and re-elected in 2000. Lopez 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, both in 1998. She is a dual graduate of St. Mary’s with a B.B.A. degree in financial management in 1965 and a doctor of jurisprudence in 1968.

Through a sub-contract, St. Mary’s students conduct research using St. Ville’s patented Volumetrically Controlled Manufacturing concept. St. Mary’s adopted VCM to complete the development of hip stem replacements for arthritic hip joints. St. Ville, who is a St. Mary’s graduate with a bachelor’s in biology in 1979, received his master’s degree in bioengineering at the University of California at San Diego in 1982; medical degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1984; and MBA in international management from Thunderbird University in Glendale, Ariz., in 1994.

St. Mary’s is the oldest and largest Catholic university in Texas and the Southwest. Educating in community and working to build community are among the most distinctive features of St. Mary’s, which is nationally recognized for academic excellence. Since its founding by the Society of Mary in 1852, St. Mary’s has maintained liberal arts traditions of personal attention and powerful programs.