The St. Mary’s University Alumni Association will honor three graduates – Charles T. Barrett Jr. (B.B.A. ’62), Ray E. Berend (B.B.A. ’67) and retired Col. Richard J. Muraski Jr. (B.A. ’87) – at its annual Distinguished Alumni Dinner.
The event will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, at the Omni San Antonio Hotel. The Distinguished Alumni Award is given each year to those individuals selected by the Awards and Recognition Committee of the Alumni Association.
Charles T. Barrett Jr., President and CEO of Barrett Holdings Inc., attended Catholic school for the majority of his academic years and grew to love the Marianist spirit. After a short stint at San Antonio College, he transferred to St. Mary’s and earned an Accounting degree. He worked at an accounting firm, then started his own, before going into the automobile industry. He owns Barrett Jaguar and Maserati in San Antonio, which is a nine-time winner of the “Pride of Jaguar” award for overall quality. As an alumnus, he served on the Alumni Association Board of Directors and the St. Mary’s Board of Trustees, including as chairman. In 2005, he raised more than $1 million in support of the Barrett Memorial Bell Tower. He also has served on the San Antonio Fiesta Commission, including as president in 2009 and as the 54th El Rey Feo in 2002.
Ray E. Berend, retired Managing Partner of Padgett Stratemann & Co. LLP, transferred to St. Mary’s from the University of Dallas and never looked back. The St. Mary’s family atmosphere and personal attention helped him get his first job: Leo Donahue suggested he call Padgett & Padgett, CPAs, and the rest is history. He later became one of Padgett, Stratemann & Co.’s founding partners, leading the company to become the second-largest accounting firm in San Antonio. Berend is a member of the Greehey School of Business Advisory Council of Executives, and he has participated as Professor-for-a-Day during Business Week. He also has held leadership positions for the San Antonio Medical Foundation Board of Trustees, Roy Maas’ Youth Alternatives Inc. and the North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. He’s currently chairman of the board for the Daughters of Charity Services of San Antonio.
Col. Richard J. Muraski Jr., Assistant Deputy Director of North Texas Municipal Water District, came to St. Mary’s from Kansas City, Missouri, to play soccer, study geology and stay warm. He dove right into the St. Mary’s experience. He became active in University Ministry activities, the soccer team, the Sigma Beta Chi fraternity and the ROTC program. Upon graduating, Muraski joined the Army and served 28 years, including as battalion commander for three years – one of which was spent in combat. As an alumnus, he is involved with the School of Science, Engineering and Technology’s advisory board, and he maintains an active role with the ROTC program by allowing students to tour his job sites. Muraski has also been a speaker at the annual Veteran’s Day Ceremony at St. Mary’s.
St. Mary's University, founded in 1852, is the first institution of higher learning in San Antonio and the oldest Catholic university in the Southwest. It offers 75 programs, including doctoral and law programs, and has a diverse student population of about 3,800 of all faiths and backgrounds. Its vision, as a Catholic and Marianist liberal arts institution, is to become one of the finest private universities in the region, a gateway for graduates to professional lives as ethical leaders in Texas, the nation and the world.