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President's Message

President Juliet Garcia

Twenty two years ago, I began serving as President of UT Brownsville. It has been an extraordinary adventure for which I am most sincerely grateful.

I have been privileged to serve the people of the Rio Grande Valley, to help tell the myriad of stories of the dreams of our students and their families, to witness their struggles against great odds to earn a degree and launch a career, and to understand the vast potential of the people of this region that for too long have been denied the opportunities that come from a college degree.

With Dr. Guy Bailey now selected as the inaugural president of the new UT Rio Grande Valley and Dr. William Fannin named interim president of UTB, I will step down as President of UT Brownsville on August 31, 2014. As the UT System Chancellor announced this spring, I have accepted a new position as Executive Director of the new UT Institute of the Americas. The Institute will focus on helping develop the next generation of leadership rooted in the values of a democratic society and providing a non-partisan venue for convening discussions of critical issues with global significance. Located in the Rio Grande Valley, the Institute will operate throughout the UT System, making use of the vast amount of expertise found on each of the individual campuses and positioning UT to become the gateway to the Global South.

For me, there is no greater pleasure than having the opportunity to live and work in the place I was born and where my family is rooted. I look forward to beginning this new adventure strengthened by the legacy we have built together – one that honors the heritage of the people in our region and inspires learning, creativity, innovation and free thinking.

My father and mother never had the opportunity to go to college. But they talked of it often and wanted nothing more for their children than to insure that we were never denied that dream. I have wanted the same for every child in the Rio Grande Valley. Since the establishment of UT Brownsville, more than 35,000 degrees have been awarded. I thank you for the privilege of having served as president.

My parents would be proud of all of us.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute will present Dr. Juliet V. García with “The Chair’s Medallion Award” on Thursday, Oct. 2 at the CHCI’s 37th Annual Awards Gala in Washington, D.C. Chosen at the discretion of the CHCI Chair, with the current chair being U.S. Rep. Rubén Hinojosa, the award is presented each year to an individual who has dedicated his or her public or private career to improving the lives of Hispanic Americans. 
The cover story of Fortune magazine’s April 7 issue named Dr. Juliet V. García as one of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.” She joined the ranks with 49 others who are “energizing their followers and making the world better.” Fortune cites Dr. García has “reengineered opportunities for Hispanics in South Texas, forging, in 1991, the innovative partnership between a community college and the UT system, and helping create UT-Rio Grande Valley, opening in 2015.”
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