Editor’s Note: South Texas College is celebrating its 25th anniversary. To commemorate, STC’s founding president, Shirley A. Reed, has penned an op-ed. Here it is: 

President’s Message:

As we commemorate the 25th anniversary of South Texas College, the vision of creating a community college that could impact the social and economic realities of the local region has come to fruition.

As Dave Heinemann once stated, “I believe education is the great equalizer,” and this is becoming the reality of those who attended South Texas College.

The opportunity to attain higher education has not always been a possibility for students in the Rio Grande Valley. As founding president of South Texas College, I realized early in my tenure the potential the College had to improve the quality of life for families in the Valley. 

It was apparent to me at that time that this fledgling college was going to provide the workforce training and academic preparations necessary to lead to good paying jobs and better lives for thousands and their families. 

The Board of Trustees, myself, and countless others who started this journey with me had the passion, commitment, and belief that South Texas College was key to a better quality of life for families in the Valley.

Years later, I remain committed to developing an institution that is dedicated to providing such opportunities. We have had the opportunity to lead the development of South Texas College and provide opportunity for thousands of people in the Valley. 

We successfully passed three bond elections to secure voter approval in Hidalgo and Starr Counties to levy a property tax to create South Texas College and fund its expansion. 

We have put in place the infrastructure, selected the incredible team of administrators, faculty and staff we have today, and played a role in developing more than 121 different degree and certificate programs that respond to the needs of local employers, including customized skilled workforce training in response to local and long term workforce development needs.

I encourage you to read about our history in these pages and appreciate the evolution, transformation, and impact South Texas College has had on the success of students, employers and communities.

When opportunity comes before you, you have to be prepared to avail yourself of those opportunities; take advantage of them for a better quality of life, improved prosperity, and economic mobility. All are possible as you pursue achieving your dreams at South Texas College.

Humbly submitted in appreciation of the opportunity to lead this outstanding college we all know and love as South Texas College.

With warm regards,

Shirley A. Reed, M.B.A., ED.D.

President, South Texas College