F. Chris Garcia was a beloved figure in the worlds of higher education and public service in New Mexico. A 13th generation New Mexican and 4th generation Albuquerquean, Garcia began his long, fulfilling career in post-secondary education at the University of New Mexico in 1957 after graduating proudly from Valley High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He retired from his dream job of being a professor at the University of New Mexico in 2011 under the prestigious title of Distinguished Professor Emeritus. From his time at Valley High School where he was active in numerous extra-curricular activities such as captain of the school band, student government, drama club, National Honors Society, and where he obtained the Warren A. Smart citizenship award and scholarship, he would go on to build an even more impressive resume at the University of New Mexico.
Garcia would complete both his undergraduate and post-graduate studies at the University of New Mexico with a focus in Political Science. He would leave the University of New Mexico in 1964 after completing his Master’s in Government and Secondary Education to pursue his Ph. D. in American Government and Politics at the University of California, Davis. After his time at UC Davis, Garcia would return home to Albuquerque and start higher education administrative work for the University of New Mexico. His time at UNM is highlighted by being named President of the University in 2002, Distinguished Professor (F. Garcia) of Political Science and the numerous other positions held while at UNM.