ELOY — Robert Anchondo walked the halls of Santa Cruz Valley Union High School in the 1980s. While the road to success can be long and winding for some, he paved his own path after graduating from the Eloy school.
Now, that success will be celebrated, as Anchondo will be giving a speech at Arizona State University’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering convocation.
Anchondo reminisced about his time as a Dust Devil, saying that his ambition to work hard and go to college was instilled by his father.
“My father was a local pharmacist, and I think his college education and the drive for my brother and I to get educated was no doubt inspirational,” he said. “He and my mother both set high expectations for us, regardless of where we were coming from.”
After his time at Santa Cruz, Anchondo went on to study at Central Arizona College before he found his true landing spot at ASU, where he studied engineering and eventually found his way to working at Honeywell, where he has been ever since.
Anchondo spoke about the road he has taken in his life, coming from small beginnings in Eloy to now having the chance to speak at his college alma mater. Anchondo is grateful and humbled to receive the opportunity.
“It has been an amazing journey, sometimes I can’t believe I got there, I look back on it, and all I can say is, sometimes you stand on the shoulders of giants to reach these points in your career and in life,” Anchondo said. “I had role models from Santa Cruz and beyond that never accepted anything less than excellence; they always knew we could do it regardless of where we came from. It makes me incredibly proud of where I come from, and I only hope that I can be an example to others that there really is nothing that you can’t achieve.”
Going from Dust Devil to Sun Devil was truly a family affair for Anchondo. His wife, Eydie, graduated from Santa Cruz Valley and ASU, and their daughter Isabel will be one of the many students graduating at Sun Devil Stadium the day Robert takes the stage.
Anchondo said that the feeling of sharing this moment with his daughter and his entire family is indescribable, and he cannot wait to see what Isabel will do in the engineering field.
“My daughter has followed my footsteps into this field, and quite frankly, she will be a far better engineer than I was,” he said. “She is amazing, she was a finalist for one of ASU’s outstanding engineers, a 4.0 GPA, graduating Summa Cum Laude, it will be a great day.”
The Anchondo family will get to celebrate their achievements together on May 12 at the ceremony and can show future Dust Devil graduates that good things will come to those who work hard.