July 7, 2022

HACU statement on Presidential Medal of Freedom award to Juliet V. Garcia

SAN ANTONIO – The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities wholeheartedly applauds the presentation of the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Juliet V. Garcia, Ph.D., former president of The University of Texas at Brownsville and the first Mexican American woman to serve as a college president in the United States.

During her tenure as president, Garcia pioneered a partnership between UT Brownsville and Texas Southmost College, a community college where she served as president from 1986 to 1992, when she assumed the presidency of UTRGV’s legacy institution UT Brownsville. She stepped down as UTB president in 2014 when UTRGV was established. TIME magazine named Garcia one of the top 10 college presidents in the nation in 2009 and she was named one of the top 50 world leaders by Fortune magazine. In 2008, García was selected to join President-elect Barack Obama's transition team.

“Dr. Garcia exemplifies the quality of our Texas higher education community that has led the way in ensuring Hispanic students receive the best possible education despite the challenges faced by Hispanic-Serving Institutions in our nation,” said HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores. “She has served our students not just as a leader, administrator and teacher, but as a trailblazer and indomitable fighter for equity and opportunity for decades. This award is richly deserved and inspires all of us to continue the invaluable work she has met head-on in her impressive career.”

About HACU
The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, founded in 1986, represents more than 500 colleges and universities in the United States, D.C, Puerto Rico, Latin America, Spain, and school districts throughout the U.S. HACU is the only national association representing existing and emerging Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). The Association’s headquarters are in San Antonio, Texas, with regional offices in Washington, D.C. and Sacramento, California.


HACU Media Contact:
Norma Jean Revilla-Garcia
Executive Director of Communications and Marketing
Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities