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Island University Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with Festive Kickoff and Recognition of Dr. Hector P. Garcia State Holiday

September 23, 2016


CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi launched its celebration for Hispanic Heritage Month with a kickoff Sept. 15, at the University Center. With about 500 people in attendance, festivities included traditional Hispanic cuisine, Aztec dancers, a performance by the band N’Rumba and a photo booth. The kickoff was hosted by the Islander Cultural Alliance (ICA), a student-run organization that focuses specifically on providing multicultural and diversity programs for the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi community in an effort to raise cultural awareness. 

“The kickoff is a great way to meet new people, and to get a genuine cultural experience,” said Tia Mullins, Marketing Coordinator of the ICA and senior business major. “There aren’t many of us that get to travel, so this event helps bring together different cultures in a fun and accessible way.”

Along with the many events to be featured this month in celebration of Hispanic heritage, the University held a special event on Sept. 21 to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Hector P. Garcia. The event featured a discussion led by Dr. Ignacio Garcia, prolific author and biographer of Dr. Hector P. Garcia and current Professor of History at Brigham Young University.

“Dr. Hector P. Garcia’s legacy as a Mexican-American reformer continues to shape our present politics and activism,” said Garcia. “He was and continues to be an iconic figure in the lives of many Mexican-Americans.”

Dr. Hector P. Garcia (Jan. 17, 1914 – July 26, 1996) was a Mexican American physician, surgeon, World War II veteran, civil rights advocate and founder of the American G.I. Forum.  In 1984, President Ronald Reagan awarded Garcia the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor bestowed on a US citizen. In 2009, the Texas legislature passed a resolution declaring the third Wednesday in September “Dr. Hector P. Garcia Texas State Recognition Day.”

A variety of cultural events, including movie screenings, a health fair and a Latin dance night, will be hosted by the Island University during Hispanic Heritage Month. For a full schedule of events, go to