Community Column: A new year at Palo Alto College

January 1, 2019

Dr. Robert Garza

The start of a new year always brings enthusiasm and excitement about what's to come, especially for me as I begin my first full semester as president of Palo Alto College.

After spending the last few years as president of Mountain View College in the Dallas County Community College District, I am honored and humbled to return to Palo Alto College and serve alongside my colleagues to inspire, empower and educate the community for leadership and success.

For more than 30 years, Palo Alto College has served over 150,000 students from our community and developed great leaders. Our decades of dedication to our students has not gone unnoticed, and we have been recognized as one of 10 finalists for the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation's signature recognition of high achievement and performance in community colleges. This recognition, from a pool of over 1,000 community colleges across the nation, affirms the first-rate education our students receive at Palo Alto College.

My resolution this year is make every effort to connect with you — our community. We know that supporting our students goes beyond the classroom. Supporting our students begins at home, making sure our students' families share in the importance and value of pursuing a college degree.

We welcome you to visit our college to learn how we can be of service to you and your family, whether it's through our children's library, aquatic center, a musical or stage performance, or just figuring out how to get back in school. Our doors are open to each of you, no matter where you are in your journey.

As we embark on this journey together, please know that Palo Alto College has always been a special place for me and my family, and we look forward to giving back to a community that has given us so much.

This column by Dr. Robert Garza, president of Palo Alto College, was originally published in the San Antonio Express-News' Southside Reporter and on