Posted on May 26, 2000

Day was bittersweet for Mario Cruz '00, who received the Bailey Prize,
the College's highest honor for campus leadership and service.

For one thing, he was sad that a number of his peers
couldn't share the limelight. For another, his mother missed the
ceremony because of car trouble halfway down the Thruway.

“It's nice to be honored, but there are so many
other students who should get recognition but don't,” Cruz said.
“That makes it kind of bittersweet for me.”

While Cruz was marching onstage to accept the Bailey,
his mother was having her car towed from the Thruway at Kingston.
“For graduation,” says Cruz, “I'll make sure she arrives
the night before.”

Cruz came to Union four years ago, not at all sure he
wanted to be a doctor. But after internships in other fields, he chose
medicine, and he will enter Albany Medical College this fall.

He took a variety of courses his first year at Union,
and he quickly developed an interest in politics. But an internship in New
York City convinced him that political life wasn't for him.

He followed up that internship with one at a large
organization of public hospitals, but quickly concluded that he wouldn't
choose health administration either. “I realized that I am more of a
people person,” he says. “That experience confirmed my decision
to become a doctor.”