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Press Release

Lieut. Gov.-Elect Joseph A. Garcia to deliver Metro State fall commencement address


Contact: Tim Carroll, Office 303-556-5136, Cell 303-870-7705

Posted: December 2, 2010



(Denver, Colo.) — Just before graduating into his new role, Lieut. Gov.-Elect Joseph A. Garcia returns to his higher education ranks by giving Metropolitan State College of Denver’s fall commencement address on Dec. 19. The ceremony attended by more than 1,500 graduates and their families will be at 2 p.m. in the Colorado Convention Center.

When he assumes the position of lieutenant governor in January, Joseph “Joe” Garcia will be the first Latino to hold the position. Gov.-elect John Hickenlooper has named Garcia to co-chair his transition team, Partners for Colorado. Garcia’s career has spanned the areas of law, higher education and housing as well as state and federal government. As president of Colorado State University-Pueblo from 2006 until November 2010, Garcia oversaw enrollment growth and sustained retention rates, while maintaining fiscal responsibility within the College’s budget.

He worked with local groups to expand CSU-Pueblo’s men’s and women’s sports offerings, including bringing back a football program that had been abandoned decades earlier. He also began the College’s transformation to a residential campus, from its long history as a commuter campus.

While president of Pikes Peak Community College—the second largest community college in the state—from 2001 to 2006, Garcia oversaw three campuses that serve more than 16,000 students annually.

Garcia was appointed by then-President Bill Clinton to serve as Rocky Mountain State representative for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 1999. Prior to that, he had served in Gov. Roy Romer’s cabinet as executive director of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies for six years. In this capacity, he managed and maintained budgetary responsibility for such Colorado divisions as Banking, Financial Services, Real Estate, Insurance, Civil Rights and the Public Utilities Commission.

Garcia was a partner in the Colorado Springs office of the Denver-based law firm Holmes Roberts & Owen, and has lectured in classrooms at Colorado College, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak Community College, CU Denver, and CSU-Pueblo. He has served on numerous boards and commissions: as chair of the board of directors of the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, co-chair of Gov. Bill Ritter’s P20 Education Coordinating Council, vice chair of the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education, a member of the board of trustees for the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and a member of the Governmental Affairs Committee for the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, among others.

He obtained his law degree from Harvard Law School and his bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Colorado-Boulder. There will be a live Webcast of Garcia’s remarks at the event. For more details, go to http://www.mscd.edu/commencement/.

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About Metropolitan State College of Denver


With more than 24,000 students, Metro State is Colorado’s leader in educating undergraduate Coloradans. Starting in the fall of 2010, the College is offering master’s degrees in accounting and teacher education, with plans to offer a master’s in social work in fall 2011. The College enrolls the highest number of students of color among four-year colleges in the state. It boasts 67,500 alumni, the bulk of whom remain in Colorado after graduation.