F. Chris Garcia: Native Son of New Mexico

F. Chris Garcia has his legacy rooted in the state of New Mexico. A 13th generation New Mexican and 4th generation Albuquerquean, Garcia maintains his status as one of the most prominent and paradigmatic figures in New Mexico Higher Education by building off of his foundation of academic integrity and commitment to public service.

F. Chris Garcia

Chris Garcia graduated from Valley High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1957 and went on to attend the University of New Mexico for his undergraduate degree in Government and Citizenship and his post-graduate degree in Government and Secondary Education. This would be the start of a long and fulfilling relationship with the University of New Mexico as he would eventually be named President of the University in 2002 after holding several other prestigious offices including Provost in 1993, President for Academic Affairs in 1987, and Dean of the college of Arts and Sciences from 1980 to 1986.

His family follows in his footsteps with his wife Sandy and their two daughters all having completed degrees at the University of New Mexico. After retiring from his dream job as a professor (F. Chris Garcia) for the University of New Mexico, he pursues mainly musical interests. He began playing trumpet at the age of eight and was a part of marching and dance bands throughout college. He loves to sing and has participated in several choirs, choruses, and quartets and has been active in musical theater productions. Since retiring, his focus has shifted to spending time with his family, traveling, and writing.


F. Chris Garcia: Distinguished Professor Emeritus

Chris Garcia was a highly distinguished and beloved figure at UNM where he was a student, faculty member, and part of the administrative staff for 40+ years. His main area of study and research was political science and he taught at all levels of schooling. While at UNM, Garcia developed curriculum, participated in committee work, was involved in research, writing, and publishing, and public service projects. When not mentoring and assisting students and colleagues, he served on the faculty senate.

Garcia’s career at the University of New Mexico was punctuated with his being named the 17th president of the university by the university’s Board of Regents in 2002. Garcia enjoyed working with diverse communities both inside and outside of the University of New Mexico and as a result has received numerous accolades and awards from various educational & community organizations.

F. Chris Garcia (2)

Being a 4th generation Albuquerquean, he graduated from Valley High School in Albuquerque in 1957 and is also a 13th generation New Mexican. He was the first in his family to go to college and attended UNM from 1957 to 1961 where he obtained a B.A. and an M.A. Garcia would later go on to complete his Ph. D. in Political Science from University of California, Davis in 1972. His wife, Sandy, and their two daughters all have degrees from the University of New Mexico, exemplifying F. Chris Garcia and his loved ones as a modern family with exceptional values of higher education and the never-ending drive for self-betterment.