Commencement Speaker: Mildred García

President of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU)

Mildred García

AASCU President Mildred García

Mildred García, president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), is the first Latina to lead one of the six Washington, D.C.–based higher education associations. As AASCU president, she works to influence federal policy and regulations on behalf of member colleges, universities, and systems. AASCU represents nearly 400 institutions, whose members share a learning and teaching–centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development.

Prior to joining AASCU, García served as president of California State University, Fullerton, the third largest university in the state. The institution is now number one in California and second in the nation in awarding bachelor’s degrees to Hispanics, as well as sixth in the nation in graduating students of color. She was previously president of California State University, Dominguez Hills, becoming the first Latina president in the largest system of public higher education in the country.

García has also held senior-level administrative or academic positions at Berkeley College, Arizona State University, Montclair State University, Pennsylvania State University, Columbia University, and the City University of New York.

Her honors include the American Council on Education’s Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award and the Columbia University Distinguished Alumni Award. She was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, the U.S. Secretary of Defense to serve on Air University’s Board of Visitors and the U.S. Secretary of Education to serve on the Committee on Measures of Student Success.

García holds a doctor of education degree and a master’s degree in higher education administration from Teachers College, Columbia University; a master’s degree in business education/higher education from New York University; a bachelor’s degree in business education from Baruch College, City University of New York; and an associate’s degree from New York City Community College.