Laura Murillo (’89, M.Ed. ’98, Ed.D. ’03) and Rick Noriega (’84)

Hispanic Chamber CEO Dr. Laura Murillo, former State Rep. Rick Noriega get engaged at UH basketball game

Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce CEO Dr. Laura Murillo is a die-hard University of Houston Cougars fan. So is her longtime beau, Rick Noriega, the former State Rep. and U.S. Army general. Both are UH grads.

So Murillo thought nothing of joining him on the floor of Fertitta Center on Sunday night to cheer on the UH basketball team as they played against the Southern Methodist University.

Noriega had other plans — he proposed to Murillo on the floor of the arena as fans cheered.

“I thought we were asked to cheer on the University of Houston basketball team, then the General asked me to be his Cougar for Life!” she posted on Instagram.

The couple has been dating for four years. Noriega bought a ring in 2019, but shortly after, the couple suffered the losses of several family members, then the COVID-19 pandemic happened and then the Valentine’s Day freeze in 2021.

Murillo recently launched her book, “Lead in Life,” and the time finally seemed right.

Murillo has had a long relationship with UH. She worked at the university for 15 years and received three degrees, including a doctorate, from the school. Noriega was a UH ROTC student and went on to become a two-star general and earn a master’s degree from Harvard University. Both are native Houstonians.

Submission Rules…

By submitting a class note, you agree:

  • All Class Notes are visible to the general public. Do not submit anything you wish to keep private.
  • The University of Houston reserves the right to edit all submissions.
  • No Advertising or any form of commercial solicitation is permitted.
  • Unauthorized copyrighted material will be deleted.

Learn More