Dr. García with U.S. District Judge Ricardo
Hinojosa (right), Dr. Hans Mark, former UT System
Chancellor (middle), and Regent Powell (left).
Honoring Leadership and Vision, May 27
Seated at brightly decorated tables under lights
crisscrossing the Gran Patio at Main, supporters of UT
Brownsville gathered for a festive dinner to honor Dr.
Juliet V. García, UT Brownsville President; University
of Texas System Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa,
M.D.; Wm. Eugene “Gene” Powell, UT System Board
of Regents Former Chairman and Current Vice
Chairman; and the UT Board of Regents – all staunch
promoters of UTB and higher education in the Rio
Grande Valley, and all instrumental contributors to the
creation of The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
Surprising all, Cigarroa announced the creation of the
University of Texas Institute of the Americas to be led
by García, now in her 22nd year as President of UTB.
“Because of the incredible role that Texas is playing as a
national leader in bi-cultural and bi-national studies,
we need a person with exceptional leadership skills and
a record of advanced achievements in higher education
to help us create a presence centered in this region of
our state,” Cigarroa announced.
The Celebración marked the efforts of UTB supporters
to raise funds toward the newly established UTRGV
Founders Scholarship Endowment, the first
endowment to be created by current supporters for the
soon-to-be Valley-wide university and medical school.
The evening acknowledged the continued support of
patrons of existing endowments as well as the founding
group of faculty and staff who launched the Juliet V.
García Endowment benefitting The UT Institute of
García was surprised when her four grandchildren walked up to the podium and each
said a few words.
“Our Yaya has always described her life as living a life beyond her wildest dreams,” said
granddaughter Carolina Rico. “She’s taught us to dream without limits, to live a life
without regret, to live a life in service of others.”
During the Celebración, García bestowed the honor of being a “Diamond Among Us” to
Powell (middle) and Cigarroa (right).
“These two gentlemen have chosen to live their lives in ways that matter more for others
than for themselves,” García said. “They are artists of the human spirit – and they are
resilient and their work will hold enduring value across generations to come.”
The Diamonds Among Us award was established during UT Brownsville’s 10th
anniversary celebration to honor the selfless actions of special people who have steadfastly
advocated for the growth of higher education in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.