Amigo Club’s Despedida for Universidad de Guanajuato Global Innovation Scholars

On 13 April 2024, at Mazatlan Mexican Restaurant, the Amigo Club had a farewell dinner for the nine Universidad de Guanajuato students who participated in this year’s SOU Global Innovation Scholar Program. This multicultural business development partnership was initiated in 2022 by Dee Fretwell, chair of the SOU Business Department and director of Global Innovation Scholars, and Universidad de Guanajuato business professor and SOU alumnus Martín Pantoja.  Ten SOU students also participated in the program; they traveled to Guanajuato in March and the nine Universidad de Guanajuato students traveled to Ashland in April. The 19 students worked together in each community, researching and analyzing selected local businesses during the week-long exchange programs. On Friday, 12 April, the student teams presented their recommended development plans to the business owners and campus community. To learn more about the program, go to this SOU web page: 

The following photos, taken by Amigo Club member Jay Ach, document the despedida (farewell event).

Jay Tapp, Amigo Club president, welcomed the group in the downstairs meeting room of Mazatlan Mexican Restaurant. Attending the despedida were the 19 Global Innovation Scholars and the professors from both countries who helped with the program. Amigo Club members and local dignitaries also attended. A dinner of soup, followed by hamburgers and sides, was served.

Ashland mayor Tanya Graham welcomed the group and praised the efforts of the program and its participants.

Former SOU president Roy Saigo described ongoing efforts to increase collaborations between SOU and the Universidad de Guanajuato. He also praised the program and its participants.

Universidad de Guanajuato Business Professor and SOU alumnus Martín Pantoja introduced the nine student from Guanajuato who participated in the program. Each gave a short presentation about their experience in the program.

Monica Herrera Zamora and Isaac Aaron Quintamilla Melgar, two music students from Guanajuato who are currently studying at SOU with the aid of Amigo Club scholarships, entertained the group with several musical selections.

On Monday, 8 April 2024, Amigo Club board members welcomed the nine students who had arrived over the previous weekend to participate in the program. Guanajuato and SOU students and their professors were treated to drinks and appetizers at the Mazatlan Mexican Restaurant. Photo by Amigo Club board member Karen Grove.

The Amigo Club continues to support all of the collaborations between Ashland and its sister city Guanajuato, and looks forward to meeting with future groups of students in these collaborative programs.