A crowd of admirers packed the Havasupai Room of the University Union on Wednesday night to listen to former Gov. Raul Castro and snatch up copies of his new autobiography, Adversity is My Angel: The Life and Career of Raúl H. Castro, co-written by Jack L. August, Jr.
The 93-year-old former prosecutor, judge and U.S. ambassador is the first and only Latino governor of Arizona. He charmed the crowd with anecdotes of his time at Arizona State Teachers College, now Northern Arizona University, and with advice for future generations.
“I owe my career and my life to Arizona State Teachers College and NAU,” he said.
Born in Mexico in 1916, where he lived until 1926 when his family moved near Douglas, Arizona, Castro graduated with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from ASTC in 1939, the same year he earned U.S. citizenship.
He held variety of jobs while at ASTC, including dishwasher for the iconic Mother Hanley. He also was captain of the track team and captain of the boxing team. In 1988 Castro was voted into the NAU Athletics Hall of Fame.
Castro is an unflagging supporter of education who says he cherishes his visits to middle schools around the state where he encourages students to work for the education. “There is no excuse for any youngster in the United State of America to not get an education,” Castro said. “But no one is going to give you anything. You have to earn it.”
The event was co-hosted by Ernest Calderón, president of the Arizona Board of Regents, and NAU President John Haeger.
View a photo gallery of the event here.