Letter From the CEO: Honorable Tony

GarzaThe former ambassador to Mexico is our new Texas Exes president.

Every July 1 is a bolded date on the Texas Exes calendar. It’s the day when the new volunteer leaders of the Texas Exes start their terms. That includes everyone from board and council members to chapter leaders and committee chairs. The face of the alumni association, the president of the board, is of particular note, as he or she is always someone
with public stature and a huge love of the university. This past year, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, LLB ’67, BA ’92, Life Member, Distinguished Alumna, served in that role. This July 1, the Hon. Antonio Garza, BA ’80, Life Member, Distinguished Alumnus, began his term as president.

Tony, as we call him, exemplifies what it means to be an active and engaged alumnus. He has a love for the University of Texas that’s as contagious as laughter. Just take a look at his Twitter feed: @aogarza. What you’ll see is someone who keeps connected to the news of the university and helps to spread messages that demonstrate how valuable UT is to the world. He’s like an information envoy.

Which makes perfect sense when you consider that this native South Texan has a long history of public service. He served our country as the U.S. ambassador to Mexico from 2002-09. When he was first confirmed, Tony was the nation’s youngest ambassador. It proved to be a smart appointment: By the end of his term he was amongst the nation’s longest-tenured sitting ambassadors. What starts here changes the world? Exactly.

Tony remains deeply involved in U.S.-Mexico relations, and his experience makes him a sought-after expert. He now works as counsel in the Mexico City office of White & Case LLP, one of the world’s leading global law firms with 39 offices in 26 countries, and serves on the board of a number of publicly traded and privately held companies. He’s also chairman of Vianovo Ventures, a management consultancy with a focus on cross-border business development.

Tony is a director of the Americas Society, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, on the University of Texas Development Board, and a trustee of Southern Methodist University. He has been recognized with countless awards, including the “Aguila Azteca” or Aztec Eagle, the Mexican government’s highest honor bestowed upon a foreign national; the Outstanding Young Texas Ex Award; and the university’s highest honor, the Distinguished Alumnus Award.

All that is to say that we are tremendously lucky to have him serving as our president, and I think it says something about the Texas Exes’ global reach that while our president spends most of his time abroad, he and his wife, Liz Beightler Garza, BA ’82, Life Member, call Texas home. What a testament to the university and the association.

Tony has an ambitious and compelling vision for his term, which he has outlined on the previous page. It’s forward-looking and sure to result in positive change for the association and our ability to champion the University of Texas. I look forward to working closely with him and watching as he represents our great university and the Texas Exes community to the state, the nation, and the world.

Welcome, Ambassador. We can’t wait to get started with you.

Leslie Cedar
CEO & Executive Director
Texas Exes

 

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