When Cal State Fullerton’s Army ROTC holds its May 4 Awards Ceremony, one of the honorees will not be in a military uniform.
But don’t let that deceive you. Because Adriana Mraz is considered a member of the Titan Battalion.
A long-time supporter of the organization, Mraz will be honored with the Cadet Command’s General William E. DePuy Award, an annual honor awarded to an individual who exerted a significant influence on the success of the Army ROTC program.
“She has exerted, arguably, the most significant influence on the success of any Army ROTC program during 2017,” explains Major Jesus J. Cruz, chair and professor of military science on campus. “While she doesn’t live locally, she manages to visit the Titan Battalion almost monthly. During those visits she routinely advocates to community and business leaders for increased support of the battalion.”
Mraz’s involvement began when her son, Roy Lopez, became a member. Following his death and to honor Roy, Mraz donated funding to construct a military obstacle course for ROTC candidates to improve the cadet’s physical skills.
Since then she has established a scholarship endowment that annually awards two $5,000 scholarships to cadets. Mraz has contributed to maintenance and operation of the Roy Lopez Obstacle Course, and supported several ROTC events, including the battalion’s annual Remembrance Dinner and commissioning receptions.
“I’m honored to be recognized,” says Mraz, “but I didn’t get involved with ROTC and the Titan Battalion for this.
“I lost a child but I have gained an incredible family of cadets who are always so appreciative of what I can provide. That matters,” Mraz explains. “It is nice to be a part of a group that creates future leaders, to be able to give back a little bit for what they have given to me and my children.”
“At every event she attends, she provides words of encouragement to current cadets, as well as mentorship and support to former cadets who have been commissioned,” says Cruz of Mraz.
“As a first-generation American and daughter of an immigrant, she serves as a mentor and a source of inspiration to the many first- and second-generation Americans in our program. This is an immeasurable contribution and cannot be understated. She has shown that success is possible with continued hard work and dedication,” adds Cruz. “She is the Titan Battalion’s most influential supporter, civilian or otherwise.”
The ROTC Titan Battalion’s annual awards ceremony will be held May 4 and in addition to the honor to Adriana Mraz, will recognize cadets for academic achievement, superior service and high scores on the Army Physical Fitness test. The spring commissioning ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, May 17.