Dr. Garza developing a lasting legacy

By Lauren Terrazas
Pulse Staff Reporter

Photo courtesy Palo Alto College

Palo Alto College appointed Garza as the seventh president of Palo Alto College on July 25, 2018, and as the one-year mark of Garza’s presidency approaches, students, professors and advisors shared their thoughts on his new role.

Garza held several positions during his previous tenure at Palo Alto College, including dean of Community Development and Partnerships, dean of Student Success and vice president of Student Success.

“President Garza comes to us with great qualities. He was a former employee here at Palo Alto. He knows and understands what we want for our students,” said Joseph M. Fonseca Jr., a Texas Government professor at Palo Alto College.

Garza has been a part of the Alamo Colleges District since 1999. Since he has been with the campus for so long, many of the faculty and staff are already familiar with him, and he is familiar with them.

Although a change this big can be a bit nerve-racking, especially because it means putting your trust in the hands of someone new, for Palo Alto College students, faculty and staff, it was like nothing had changed at all.

Typically with the appointment of a new president, you would expect many new changes and a much different culture, but not in this case. The relationship and impact Garza has had on the students, faculty members, and the community is very significant.

Amanda Morales, a certified advisor at Palo Alto College, said, “Dr. Garza is very student-centered and strives to do what’s best for our community. The culture remains as it did with Dr. Flores…very family-oriented.”

Although many things have changed since Garza’s appointment as president, many things have also remained the same.

“There is one thing that’s been very commonplace, and that is that Palo Alto College is a place of hope. We give people hope, and we want our students to come and realize their dreams here. We are a place not only of learning, but we are a family,” said Garza.

Many of the staff and students who attend Palo Alto College come from the same type of school settings where they have built very close, meaningful relationships with their teachers, administrators and peers. Palo Alto College and Garza strive to ensure that this remains a stable part of their learning community for their students.

Garza is continuing traditions, but at the same time, he is building a legacy of a thriving and innovative institution of higher learning. The monthly Celebrate & Share breakfast that Garza began features the work on campus that impacts student success and recognizes those involved.

To reach Garza, email him at pac-pres@alamo.edu, or call him at (210) 486-3960.