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Wounded Soldier, Alumnus Visited by President Obama
David Ortiz ’05 represents the University of St. Thomas with courage, bravery and honor. Ortiz, a U.S. Army Air Cavalry Officer, was injured on June 20 or 21 when the helicopter he was piloting crashed while returning to base after a combat mission in Afghanistan.

After being flown to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C. last Monday, Ortiz received a visit from President Barack Obama on June 28.

Two of Ortiz’s relatives work at St. Thomas: his uncle, Arthur Ortiz, assistant vice president of enrollment management, and aunt, Roselinda Cantu, UST athletic administrative assistant.
Dr. Hans Stockton, director of the Center for International Studies, said Ortiz has kept in touch with the Center regularly and has been proud to serve his country as an Air Cavalry officer and pilot.

“David threw himself into his studies with the same passion with which he has served our country," Stockton said. "While a student, David was known for his intellect, warmth and desire to engage in discussion about the important events shaping the world. Serving in Afghanistan put David at the intersection of geopolitics and daily realities abroad, and he never lost sight of the big and small pictures of a complicated world. Current and past students and faculty of the Center have David very much in our thoughts.”

Ortiz studied international studies and business administration at St. Thomas and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Honors Program. The St. Thomas administration asks the campus community to keep Ortiz in their thoughts and prayers during his intensive recovery.

"Please keep David and his family in your prayers for strength and peace and for David’s speedy and complete recovery," St. Thomas President Dr. Robert Ivany said in a campus email. "May God bless David and all of our armed forces who serve our country."

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The University of St. Thomas, dedicated to educating leaders of faith and character, is a private institution committed to the liberal arts and to the religious, ethical and intellectual tradition of Catholic higher education. St. Thomas is Houston’s only Catholic University and was founded by the Basilian Fathers in 1947.


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