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U.S. Congressman Ruben Hinojosa Bronze Bust, Texas 15th Congressional District,1997 to 2017

“Dear Paula, Both my wife, Marty, and I very much enjoyed meeting you and continue to share between us our personal delight that you captured my likeness so keenly. We believe the University chose very wisely in selecting you for this work—which means so much to me and my family, as well as my extended family of the University of Texas Pan-American and all South Texans. Needless to say, I will highly recommend your artistry to those who may be interested in commissioning such a fine craftsman as you. With my highest personal regards, I remain, Sincerely,”
~ Congressman Ruben Hinojosa
“Paula, you did a fantastic job! The Congressman was very pleased and the bronze eye glass frames your foundry created were perfect! Please keep me posted on the bronze casting; I want to unveil it at another event for the Congressman. Thanks for the photos.”
~ Dr. Roland S. Arriola
Vice President for External Affairs
The University of Texas Pan- American
Location: University of Texas Pan-American, Edinburgh, Texas
Size: Life Size
Year Completed: 2007

Slater was commission to sculpt a life size bronze portrait bust of U.S. Congressman Ruben Hinojosa for the University of Texas Pan-American.  It was first cast in white plaster for presentation at the Hectec Conference event at the University of Texas Pan American. The plaster bust was unveiled at the Hectec event with the Congressman, his wife, Martha, as well as, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Slater on stage. Nancy Pelosi was a keynote speaker at the dedication, as an audience of hundreds applauded the unveiling event. (Dr. Roland Arriola commissioned the portrait on very short notice, the bust was completed in bronze a couple of months after the unveiling event.)

Congressman Hinojosa was a U.S. Representative for Texas’s 15th congressional district, serving 1997 to 2017. Hinojosa served on the House Financial Services and Education committees. He emphasized assisting minorities and low-income Americans gain access to higher education. He was especially active in supporting water-conservation projects along the Mexican border, and in replacing federal subsidies for student loans with direct government loans. Hinojosa and George Miller were responsible for constructing the 2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act, which increased the maximum Pell Grants available to low-income students and authorized additional funding for minority-serving schools.

He was an advocate of the DREAM Act, which would provide citizenship to people who were brought to the U.S. as children by their parents. He cited his concern that these children came to the US alongside their parents and should not be faulted. Hinojosa argued that “we are all much better off by being able to let those children get a college education and serve in the military and contribute to the prosperity of our country.”