Juliet Villareal García Announced as Speaker for Docking Lecture Series March 25

Juliet Villarreal García, the first Latina to serve as president of a college or university in the United States and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, will present the Docking Lecture on Monday, March 25, at 11 a.m., in the Richardson Performing Arts Center in the Christy Administration building on the campus of Southwestern College. Unlike past lectures, the format will feature a “fireside chat” with Dr. García hosted by Dr. Liz Frombgen. Discussion will be centered around topics relating to leadership and community building. 

The public is invited to attend, there will be no admission charge. 

Juliet Villarreal GarcíaJulieta Villarreal García, Ph.D.

March 25, 2024 (Monday)
11:00 a.m.
Richardson Performing Arts Center

Admission:  FREE

“Dr. Garcia’s career is a shining example of the vision and persistence required of servant leaders, and I am delighted that she has accepted our invitation to share her story with our students and the broader community,” Frombgen says.  “Along with the Docking Family and our friends at Union State Bank, all of us here on campus are excited at the opportunity to host and learn from Dr. García – we invite our community to join us.”

In 1986, Dr. García spearheaded the creation of The University of Texas at Brownsville and then served as its president for 22 years graduating over 40,000 students and leading the design and establishment of the Brownsville campus.

In 2011, she helped lead an effort to envision a new 21st Century University model that eventually consolidated two UT universities, established a medical school, and created The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Her life’s work has been focused on expanding higher education opportunities for the people of the Rio Grande Valley. 

In Washington D.C., she has served on the Clinton and Obama presidential transition teams, chaired the Advisory Committee to Congress on Financial Aid and in 2021, and served on the panel to select White House Fellows.

After the election of President Nelson Mandela and the end of apartheid, she was selected to work in South Africa to help integrate higher education. She has served on the boards of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Ford Foundation. 

In 2009, “Time” magazine named her one of the Top 10 College Presidents in the US, and in 2014 she was recognized by Fortune magazine as one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders. She has received honorary doctorates from Notre Dame, Brown, Smith, and Princeton. In July of 2022, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Joe Biden.

She currently serves on the board for LLILAS, the Lozano Long Institute for Latin American Studies at UT Austin, Audubon Texas, and Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley. Annually, she lectures at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education IEM program for professionals seeking to become university presidents and with HACU – Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities Leadership Academy. She is currently working with Texas 2036, a group of Texans studying how best to shape the future in Texas across seven core state policy areas.

On campus, she teaches public speaking to students in the Math & Science Academy and courses in organizational communication and Latinas in Leadership focusing on the key communication skills needed for next-generation leaders.


The Docking Lecture is underwritten by Union State Bank and by the Docking family.

Docking Lecture Series LogoThe Docking family has played a prominent role in public service, Kansas government, and politics for over half a century.  In 1956 George Docking was elected governor of Kansas.  He served two terms, leaving office in 1961.  His son, Robert Docking, was elected governor in 1966 and served four two-year terms, more than any other Kansas governor, leaving office in 1975.  Robert Docking’s sons have continued the family’s commitment to public service.  William Docking was appointed to the Kansas Higher Education Board of Regents in 1995 and served as its chair.  Thomas Docking, who passed away in 2017, was lieutenant governor of Kansas from 1983 to 1987, during the governorship of John Carlin. 

Union State Bank LogoUnion State Bank has been locally owned and operated in Cowley County since 1908. With approximately $300 million in total assets and ten locations, Union State Bank serves South Central Kansas and North Central Oklahoma with comprehensive banking solutions and expertise. Union State provides a wide range of financial products and services for individuals and businesses including checking, savings, loans and lines of credit, mortgages, credit cards, online services, and investments.

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