Dr. Hector P. Garcia

Dr. Hector P Garcia

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is proud to honor the legacy of Dr. Hector Perez Garcia (1914-1996). Corpus Christi physician, founder of the American G.I. Forum, and legendary community leader, Dr. Garcia was active in political and civic affairs for more than fifty years and ranks as one of the most important figures in Mexican American history. His papers are a centerpiece of the university's manuscript holdings.

The Hector P. Garcia Plaza, dedicated in 1996, serves as a gathering spot and inspires students with a statue of Dr. Garcia. In his shadow, students can study and socialize, as well as reflect on Dr. Garcia’s life of service, reflected in his saying, “Education is our freedom, and freedom should be everybody’s business,” which is inscribed on the base of the statue.

Members of the ROTC Islander Battalion started a new tradition in 2016 for uniformed members to salute the statue of Dr. Garcia in recognition of his military service and work with veterans when they are passing by or stopping in for a break at the plaza. The University community celebrates Dr. Garcia in September, during Hispanic History Month and on the official state holiday, established in 2009.

Dr. Hector P GarciaDr. Garcia's papers represent one of the most valuable resources in existence on the Mexican-American experience during the last half of the 20th century. They include records relating to the American G.I. Forum, which he began in 1948, and cover the major issues faced by Mexican Americans during his career as a champion of civil rights. They were featured on C-SPAN’s American History TV in 2015. See a clip here.

This remarkable historical resource recently has been made easier to use through a partnership between TAMU-CC and History Associates, Inc. Thanks to History Associates' work, the papers are more efficiently organized and described and the photographs, audiovisual materials, and correspondence contained in the papers have been digitized.

We welcome you to view our digital exhibit, which offers a window into Dr. Hector's life; to consult the finding aid, which provides a summary of and entry point into his papers; and to explore TAMU-CC's digital repository, which affords access to the digitized resources from Dr. Hector's papers.

Please contact us at specialcollections@tamucc.edu or (361)825-4500 with any questions and/or comments you may have. We look forward to hearing from you and to providing assistance in the use of Dr. Garcia's papers, whether the digital versions or the originals housed in Special Collections and Archives in the Mary and Jeff Bell Library.