It's a Family Affair
The Rivera brothers, all Loyola graduates (Fernando ’04, Osmin ’05, Jorge ’07, and Ricardo ’11) describe themselves as a united family. So united in fact that Osmin, Jorge, and Ricardo all followed in the footsteps of oldest brother Fernando, enrolling in Loyola for their college education. As further evidence of their unanimity, all four graduated with degrees in business and all four majored in finance.
Having been accepted at several top U.S. schools, Fernando ultimately chose Loyola for several reasons. “Loyola has a very good reputation in Honduras, and the university was very generous in its scholarships to international students, awarding me the Ignation scholarship. As children, we used to visit family in New Orleans almost every year and thus grew to love the city.”
His brother, Osmin, concurs. “With every beignet, every Saints game, every crawfish boil, and every po’ boy we ate, our love for the city grew.”
Fernando graduated in 2004 and is employed with Goldman Sachs in New York City. Fernando met his wife, Cinthia Martinez, at Loyola during a Mass at Ignatious Chapel. Fr. Gros, who said the Mass that day, would go on to marry the couple five years later in Honduras. Fernando and Cinthia now have a son, Fernando Emilio, expected to be a future Loyola alumnus as well.
Next to arrive at Loyola was Osmin, and like his brother, met his wife, Maria Torres ’06, while at Loyola. He too is employed by Goldman Sacks and lives in New York City.
Jorge, who recently became engaged, transferred with JP Morgan from New York City to Mexico City a few years ago.
The youngest brother, Ricardo, graduated in May 2011 and is working for Deutsche Bank, also in New York City.
Finance Professor Ron Christner, Ph.D., taught the brothers and has fond memories of all four. “The thing that stands out about all four was their work ethic, and after dining with their parents, I know it was likely inculcated in them by their parents. They were by far the most hard-working, dedicated, and most intelligent students I have ever known. Fernando acted as an equal partner with the faculty and was involved in our bank study in Central America in association with the USAID. He not only translated with the bank executives but also suggested and formulated questions we should ask. During our government-funded research trip many years ago, we had dinner at the Rivera’s house in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. I have always said their mother by far made the best dinner we had in all our Central American travels.”
The brothers have fond memories of their time at Loyola as well. Jorge remembers being nervous when arriving at Loyola, concerned about his ability to adapt to a new place and culture. But once he arrived and experienced Loyola’s welcoming environment, his fears disappeared. One of his accomplishments while in the CoB of which he is most proud stems from his financial accounting class. He spent time tutoring students who were struggling with the class. “Seeing those students pass the class with good grades made me feel very proud.”
The brothers agree that their studies at Loyola helped to prepare them for their careers, both through their coursework in the CoB and the Jesuit values they incorporate into their daily lives. “Giving back to our communities is at the core of our values,” says Osmin. They also credit their success to God, who has been a presence in their lives since they were young, and to the guidance and love they received from their parents, who Jorge describes as “the best gift from God.” As Fernando fondly remembers, “Our mother was the person who sat down with us every day after school to help us with our homework and studying. She taught us the meaning of hard work and dedication. Our father taught us discipline and the value of family.”
An Ignation scholar himself, Fernando and his brothers were inspired by the assistance they received while at Loyola and are in the process of establishing a scholarship for other students from Honduras to study in the CoB. The CoB has a strong tradition of enrolling students from Honduras and other Latin American countries. Once fully endowed, the scholarship will provide assistance for Honduran students for generations to come. “Scholarships such as this allow us to attract and retain the best and brightest students,” says Dean Locander. “Scholarship assistance is often a determining factor in a student’s ability to attend or remain at Loyola. We are grateful to the Rivera brothers for giving back what they were so freely given.”