Ithaca College announced March 26 that Mildred García, president of the American Association of State Colleges and University (AASCU) and a national leader in higher education, will deliver the main address at the college’s 124th Commencement ceremony in May 19 2019.
According to the college’s announcement, García is the first Latina to lead one of the six Washington, D.C., higher education associations. She has worked to influence federal policy and regulations for member colleges, universities and systems. Some of her honors include the American Council on Education’s Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award and the Columbia University Distinguished Alumni Award.
She has held senior-level positions in both administration and academia at Berkeley College, Arizona State University, Montclair State University, Pennsylvania State University, Columbia University and the City University of New York.
President Shirley M. Collado said in a statement that García has been an inspiration to her life both professionally and personally.
“As a first-generation college student and Latina pioneer in higher education administration, she has done incredible, visible and highly successful work around creating inclusive environments for both learners and leaders, and ensuring full participation in academic and professional spaces for people who have been often underserved and overlooked,” Collado said.
Robert Wagner, executive director of strategic communications in the Department of College Relations and Communications, said in an email that the college is not paying García for speaking at the commencement.