The Office of Communications and Media Relations | Dec 06, 2013
The University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) Office of Alumni Relations has announced that Veronica Vela Whitacre, a 1981 graduate of Incarnate Word College, now the University of the Incarnate Word, has been named the 2013 Alumni of Distinction for Service in Mission. She will be formally recognized at the university's fall commencement ceremony set for Sunday, Dec. 8 in San Antonio.
A native of McAllen, Texas and a graduate of McAllen High School, Whitacre earned her elementary bilingual education certification from the University of Texas - Pan American (UTPA) in 1984 and is also a graduate of Leadership McAllen. Whitacre's family roots and civic involvement can be traced back for more than 50 years. She continues this family tradition by actively serving on the boards of various non-profit organizations. In May 2013, Whitacre was elected to serve as City Commissioner for District 6 in McAllen. She also serves as a member of the board of directors for the Boys and Girls Club of McAllen and is actively involved in fundraising efforts for that organization. She was also recently reappointed as a board member of the McAllen Education Foundation.
Whitacre has served on numerous charitable boards including Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School, the International Museum of Art and Science, Easter Seals, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (now known as STARS), the McAllen Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Board and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. She is past Sponsorship Chairman of the McAllen Junior League and currently serves as the Collage & Sponsorship Chair of the International Museum of Art and Science.
She is a founding member of the UIW Alumni Association Board, has assisted with organizing UIW recruitment events in the Rio Grande Valley, has nominated students for the McCracken Alumni Referral Scholarship and has organized numerous visits for McAllen High School students to the UIW campus. She embodies the UIW Mission in countless ways and has instilled these values in her sons, not only by telling them about the importance of service but by demonstrating it through working in the community.
Whitacre's business style is based on research, active listening and being proactive. She currently works as the corporate director of operations and marketing for Lee's Pharmacy in McAllen where she oversees 90 employees at two stores. She is known for her tenacity, positive attitude and solid work ethic.
Whitacre is married to UTPA Professor Dr. Michael Whitacre. They have two sons: Joseph Avery and Julian Anthony. Joseph Avery is a UIW graduate student and Julian Anthony is a student at the University of Texas at Austin.