CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Dr. Kelly Quintanilla, President and CEO of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, celebrated Islander Impact at this year’s State of the University luncheon, held at the University Center on Sept. 13. This was Quintanilla’s first time hosting State of the University, as she was confirmed as the University’s newest president on August 23. In her address, Quintanilla shared the history of the Island University along with her vision of how the University will continue to make a positive impact on the local community and beyond.
“We at A&M-Corpus Christi have made a pledge to have unparalleled commitment to every student’s success,” Quintanilla told a crowd of more than 500 people. “We are committed to setting the bar high for student success and to being an Institution that all other Institutions emulate when it comes to educating first-generation college students.”
Quintanilla spoke about the University’s growth, not only through enrollment, but in diversity.
“We are a proud Hispanic-serving Institution,” she said. “In fact, we have seen the highest growth over the years among our Hispanic students. We have lived our mission to close gaps on educational attainment, and we have made an important impact.”
Quintanilla talked about the importance of the University’s strong relationship with the Coastal Bend community and how Islander students, faculty, staff and alumni are impacted by support from the community. She recognized the hardworking contributions of all elected officials, including the Corpus Christi City Council, and gave special recognition to Chairman Todd Hunter, Chairman Abel Herrero and Senator Chuy Hinojosa.
Quintanilla also gave an overview of the University’s economic impact to the community it serves.
“A&M-CC is the 14th largest employer in Corpus Christi, with an annual economic boost up to $464.5 million and $506.8 million to the Coastal Bend region,” she said.
Quintanilla stressed that while economic impact was important, the impact of the “individual” was equally important.
“Islander Impact is everyone in this room,” said Quintanilla. “It’s all of you believing in our students and committing to their success. You help us realize our vision for Islander Impact.”
The luncheoned was emceed by two Islander students, Erin Longoria and Colin Mogford.
“A&M-Corpus Christi was my first choice for so many reasons,” Longoria, a Master of Business Administration student told the crowd. “First – I was offered amazing scholarships thanks to the generosity of our donors. Second, I could stay close to my wonderful family. Third, I knew that if I came here to study – I would be able to get involved in a way that could really and truly impact others.”
Mogford, a sophomore studying electrical engineering, also shared his Island Impact.
“The second I stepped foot on this campus, I fell in love,” Mogford said. “My experience at freshman orientation was so impressive that I decided to become an orientation leader myself. Also, because of our small student-teacher ratio, I’m excelling in my classes. Last year, I even made the Dean’s List.”
This year’s State of the University sponsors included the Blossom Shop, Cheniere, Friends of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Fulton*Coastcon General Contractors, Kleberg Bank, M&G Chemicals, PlainsCapital Bank, the Port of Corpus Christi and Stantec.