A speech about Chris Hernandez by his brother Angel Hernandez
In the mid-sixties, amidst the turmoil of the civil rights movement, the beginning of the Vietnam War and while most of us were trying to cope with the assassination of President Kennedy, there was a group of young college students who "moved to exist'. My brother Chris Hernandez was part of that group as a charter member. We know now this group was special. It is an honor for me to stand at this podium speaking to you all.
In his youth, Chris was an explorer. As an adult, Chris was an educator. His birth name was Crecencio Hernandez but we all knew him as Chris Hernandez.
As a young explorer, Chris enjoyed new experiences and meeting people. Where ever he went he made long lasting friends. He was always aware of contemporary events. He was the sports expert. I remember watching baseball on TV with Chris and my Dad every Sunday. At that time, the Yankees were like the Detllas Cowboys, they were always on TV on Sunday. He was a Yankee fan, mostly because they always won.
Chris marched in the high school band and knew the fights songs for the college teams such as the Hawkeyes, the Buckeyes, the Boilermakers, the Sooner Boomers, as well as the Red Raiders.
One summer during his high school years, he won a trip to a science seminar. I don't remember anything about the science part of his trip, but I remember he came back with a picture of himself with his friends. He wasn't sure if he should show it to our parents because they might not approve of it. Chris and his friends had climbed onto a giant billboard. On the billboard was a giant size picture of Marilyn Monroe in a bathing suit. He was really proud of that picture.
Chris was the hard working intellectual of the family, he was a role model for us. It was because of his work ethic that he was valedictorian of his high school class. His work ethic was the reason he was awarded the Texas State Teachers Association scholarship and the Hiram Parks scholarship which allowed him to attend Texas Tech.
After graduating from Texas Tech, he taught school for one year in our hometown of Seagraves. He returned to Texas Tech and was a teaching assistant while earning his masters degree. In the meanwhile, he enlisted into the UnitedStates Marine Corps and also worked for Ford Motor Company. Later, he received a fellowship to the University of Purdue in West Lafayette, Indiana. He was a teaching assistant and later an associate professor while working on his doctoral study. Hisresearch focused on bilingual education for children.
At he age of 33 he began to experience health problems and later discovered he had cancer. He never falter on his religious beliefs. He died at the age of 38.
Chris had a motto. It was "remember where you came from". The Hernandez family has embraced this motto and we are better people because of it. We believe it is a good motto for everyone.
I want to compliment the Chi Rho Fraternity for the efforts in organizing the 35th Anniversary Celebration, for making a genuine attempt to contact all Chi Rho members, and for undertaking the new vision for the fraternity, the Chi Rho Association, Inc., including the Chris Hernandez Memorial Scholarship. Congratulations to the founding directors, and the organizing committee for a wonderfulevening. In closing, I embrace the campaign motto, "Reach Out to Your Chi Rho brother".