May 20, 2023

AASCU President Delivers Commencement Address at the University of Houston-Downtown

AASCU President Delivers Commencement Address at the University of Houston-Downtown.

AASCU President Mildred García celebrated graduates of the University of Houston-Downtown (UH-D) as one of two commencement speakers at the institution’s graduation ceremonies on May 20.

García shared her personal story of being a first-generation college student whose parents instilled in her that “the only inheritance a poor family leaves its children is a good education,” adding that when everyone has access to education—like the Class of 2023—they too are left with a valuable inheritance.

The university awarded 1,400 degrees this spring. García addressed graduates of the Marilyn Davies College of Business and College of Sciences and Technology. Gerald W. McElvy, former ExxonMobil Foundation executive and former vice chair of the University of Houston System Board of Regents was the second commencement speaker.

“Keep learning, support your alma mater, and pay education forward” was the sage advice García left graduates with. She encouraged them to support someone else on their college journey and to encourage their children, nieces, and nephews that it’s not if they will go to college, but where.

Before delivering her remarks, García was awarded the presidential medallion of honor by UH-D President Loren J. Blanchard and University of Houston Chancellor Renu Khator in recognition of her contributions to higher education. President Blanchard has deep connections to AASCU. He is a 2004 Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI) alum and currently serves on the MLI executive steering committee.

→ Watch the commencement ceremony. (García starts speaking at the 50-minute mark.)