IN THE SPOTLIGHT
In the Spotlight with Carlos García, UMC Director
The architectural beauty of the Boulder campus is world renowned and our buildings often are viewed as the face of the university. In this series, "In the Spotlight," we ask CU-Boulder building directors to give us a behind-the-scenes look at the facilities and programs they manage - along with a glimpse into their personalities. Part one of this series features Carlos García, director of the University Memorial Center.
What is one thing you would like people to know about your building(s) or your job?
As I often tell my staff, there are no dull moments at the University Memorial Center. As the center of student life for CU Boulder, the UMC is probably the most exciting building on the campus and a high level of student involvement is the key to making the UMC a successful student union program and facility. The dynamic nature of working with new students every year with fresh ideas and different expectations keeps my job very exciting as well as challenging. The UMC is so multi-faceted that I must be a true generalist to successfully lead this organization. The responsibilities and challenges faced in this position are very broad because the UMC strives to be many things to many people. For students we want it to be their home away from home and a place where they can continue to grow as individuals as well as academically; to faculty and staff, the UMC is a place where they can grab lunch, meet and socialize, as well as accomplish the business of the university; and to the community and alumni, a place where they can connect to or reconnect with the university.
Many may not know that the UMC is so named because it is the State of Colorado's official memorial to Coloradans who have given their lives in military service to our country. This designation was proclaimed by Colorado Governor Lee Knous back in 1948, five years before the original UMC building was completed. The names of the soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen who died in military conflicts dating back to World War I to present are memorialized and honored on the walls of the Veteran's Lounge located on the second floor of the UMC.
If you were to define the word "courage" by giving an example, how would you do it?
Courage is what my father did 75 years ago when he left his tiny village in Mexico at the age of 16 to come to the United States in order to support his family after the untimely death of his father. Being the oldest eligible male of his family of nine brothers and sisters, he was forced to drop out of school in 1930 and begin earning a living to support his entire family. Coming to a country he had never seen before and living in a culture he had never experienced before, in my mind, took a lot of courage. He went on to own several businesses, marry and have six children, and give his family the opportunity for an education that he never had. He is now 91 years old, living in Colorado and doing great.
In the Spotlight with Carlos Garcia, UMC Director
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