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Gambrinus CEO will address 461 spring graduates

St. Mary’s University will award an honorary doctoral degree to Carlos Alvarez – founder, chairman and CEO of the Gambrinus Company – at the 163rd annual Spring Commencement Exercises on Saturday, May 9.

Alvarez will receive a Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, for his accomplishments in business and contributions to higher education. He is passionate about education and has a profound interest in attracting more international students to U.S. colleges and universities, including St. Mary’s.

He also will serve as keynote speaker as the University celebrates the accomplishments of 461 new graduates, including 365 receiving bachelor’s degrees, 91 receiving master’s degrees and five receiving doctoral degrees.

Commencement exercises will begin at 1:30 p.m. at Bill Greehey Arena, inside the Alumni Athletics & Convocation Center on the St. Mary’s campus. Baccalaureate Mass will be held Friday, May 8, at 5:30 p.m., also at Greehey Arena. Media are welcome at both events.

More about Carlos Alvarez
Alvarez grew up in Acapulco, Mexico, and worked part time at his father’s Corona beer distributorship. After college, he joined Grupo Modelo – brewers of Corona – and held several positions before becoming export manager in 1978. Three years later, he sold the first few cases of Corona Extra in the United States in Austin.

He founded Gambrinus – U.S. importer for Corona and other Modelo brands – in 1986 in San Antonio and was responsible for sales and marketing for the next 20 years. Now a leader in the craft beer category, it owns and operates three distinct and independent craft breweries: the Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner; BridgePort Brewing in Portland, Oregon; and the Trumer Brewery in Berkeley, California.

Having experienced Austin’s developing consumer support for Shiner beer, he saw the brand’s potential and decided to buy the struggling Spoetzl Brewery in 1989. Investments in facilities and marketing efforts have made Shiner the fourth-largest craft brewery in the U.S.

Alvarez holds a degree in Biochemical Engineering from the Monterrey Institute of Technology in Monterrey, Mexico. He supports educational institutions across the country, including several San Antonio schools and universities. His gifts to St. Mary’s have enhanced recruiting of international students.

He has received multiple recognitions, including being named one of Hispanic Business Magazine’s Most Influential Hispanics and enshrined in the Texas Business Hall of Fame. He also has received the World Affairs Council of San Antonio’s International Citizen of the Year award and the American Immigration Council’s American Heritage Award.

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