News Release

El Salvador finance minister William J. Handal named 2007 Alumnus of the Year

Contact: Rene Abadie


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William J. Handal
  President George W. Bush and William Handal

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El Salvadoran Minister of Finance William J. Handal, who has been named the 2007 Alumnus of the Year by the Southeastern Louisiana University Alumni Association, meets in the Oval Office with President George W. Bush and members of his cabinet. Handal has been minister of finance since May 2006 after a long career with Taca International Airlines.

     HAMMOND – The minister of finance for the Republic of El Salvador, William J. Handal, has been named the 2007 Alumnus of the Year by the Southeastern Louisiana University Alumni Association.

     A 1974 graduate of Southeastern’s College of Business with a bachelor’s degree in economics, Handal will be honored during the university’s Homecoming Week celebrations, Nov. 5-10, on the Hammond campus.

     “We are greatly honored that this international statesman and entrepreneur will be joining us for our homecoming festivities,” said Southeastern President Randy Moffett. “This year marks the 80th anniversary of the Alumni Association, and we are thrilled one of our most distinguished graduates will be recognized as part of the celebrations.”

     Handal was appointed to the cabinet-level position in the El Salvadoran government in May 2006 after distinguishing himself in the business world with a long career with Taca International Airlines.

     He will be officially honored at the association’s annual awards event at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, at Southeastern’s Twelve Oaks. Information on the event can be obtained by calling 1-800-SLU-ALUM. During his visit, he will also lecture to finance students as part of Southeastern’s Business Week and will reign as grand marshal in the homecoming parade scheduled for 2 p.m. on Saturday in Hammond.

     Handal joined Taca International Airlines in 1975 after completing his studies at Southeastern. After serving in a variety of positions in finance, planning and control, sales, traffic and marketing, he was appointed vice president and general manager of the company, which is headquartered in San Salvador.

     He has served as a governor from El Salvador to the International Monetary Fund, alternate governor of El Salvador for the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank, and vice president of the Board of Ministers of Finance of Central America, Panama and the Dominican Republic.

     Southeastern will sponsor a week-long series of events for Homecoming Week. Among the events are Business Week, a series of lectures sponsored by the College of Business; a community decorating contest; a bonfire on Thursday; and the annual parade and homecoming reunions on Saturday. The week will culminate with the Southeastern Lions vs. Sam Houston State football game at 6 p.m. in Strawberry Stadium.

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