Colorado Lt. Governor Joseph Garcia to give commencement address at CSU-Pueblo
PUEBLO – Colorado’s Lieutenant Governor and former President of Colorado State University-Pueblo Joseph A. Garcia will share his insights with the 2011 graduating class in May. Garcia will present the Commencement Address to more than 600 graduating seniors (of 1000+ who were eligible to participate) during the spring ceremony beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 7 at the Colorado State Fair Events Center.
During his four-year tenure at the University from 2006-2010, Garcia positioned CSU-Pueblo as the fastest growing university in the state, doubling the number of on-campus residents and increasing overall headcount more than 20 percent. He implemented a four-year graduation incentive program that rewards students who earn their bachelor’s degree in four year.
In addition to new academic initiatives, groundbreakings and ribbon cuttings became the norm with the opening of a $13 million football and track stadium, a $22 million renovation to Massari Arena, a new Student Recreation Field, a new $10 million Student Recreation Center, and a three-building residence hall complex. The grand opening of the Library and Academic Resources Center following a $25 million renovation will occur on Friday, April 22.
While president of CSU-Pueblo, Garcia also served as co-chair of the Governor's P-20 Education Task Force, helping guide the development of a significant education reform agenda. He also served as one of three Colorado commissioners on the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE), an organization that he now chairs.
Prior to his time at CSU-Pueblo, Garcia served as president of the second-largest community college in Colorado, Pikes Peak Community College. There, he oversaw three campuses that serve more than 16,000 students annually. Before serving at PPCC, he was a White House appointee serving as the Secretary's Representative for the Rocky Mountain States for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He also served on former Gov. Roy Romer's Cabinet as the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, where he managed and maintained budgetary responsibility for agencies such as the Divisions of Banking, Financial Services, Real Estate, Insurance, Civil Rights, Securities and the Public Utilities Commission.
Garcia has been actively involved as a board member for many non-profit agencies such as the YMCAs of Pueblo, Colorado Springs and Denver, Pikes Peak Legal Aid, the Colorado Springs and Pueblo Economic Development Agencies, The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (where he served as Board President), the Pikes Peak Child Nursery Centers Inc., the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, and numerous other civil rights, educational, and cultural organizations.
At the May 7 ceremony, the University will present the first diploma to top senior and Threlkeld Award recipient Bonita Nuanez, a biology/pre-med major, a true scholar/athlete who was the top catcher on the ThunderWolves softball team. Guests at the commencement ceremony may arrive after 8 a.m. in order to secure seating, which is on a first-come, first-served basis. Following the commencement ceremony, the CSU-Pueblo Alumni Association will sponsor a reception for graduates and their guests in the lower level of the Kitchen Craft Hall (formerly the Palace of Agriculture).
For additional information on the commencement ceremony, contact Kristi Bonham, commencement coordinator, at 719-549-2284 or visit http://www.colostate-pueblo.edu/about/Pages/Commencement.aspx
You may watch the commencement ceremony May 7 live on video stream from the comfort of your home on the CSU-Pueblo Commencement website. http://www.colostate-pueblo.edu/Commencement