Murano named head of Texas A&M

Self-made immigrant is poised to take the lead at university

— Houston Chronicle2

The faded black-and-white photograph shows a family of four in their finest clothes, standing on an airport tarmac. Everyone is smiling, except for the little girl holding her maracas and teddy bear. She is crying.

The date: July 4, 1961. It’s the day they fled Cuba, starting an unlikely journey that has landed the toddler — now an accomplished scholar — on the doorstep of a historic presidency at Texas A&M University.

At first glance, Elsa Murano doesn’t fit the profile of the university’s typical chief executive — a white male over age 50. But A&M describes itself as “a unique American institution,” and what’s more uniquely American than a self-made immigrant who relied on her own determination to reach the top?

“It’s a tremendous reflection of what is possible,” Murano said after regents recently named her the only finalist for the presidency. “Only in America can a girl from Havana get to this point.”


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Author: Paloma Cruz

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