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Pillars of Success

The University of Texas-Pan American and UTPA Alumni Association are proud to present the Pillars of Success, the University’s official “Alumni” awards. Honoring UTPA’s most distinguished alumni, the Pillars of Success celebrate a select group of Broncs for their inspirational stories and outstanding achievements. The Pillars of Success truly exemplify what being a Bronc is all about – excellence in profession and service to community and alma mater. Every Pillar of Success honoree will serve as a shining example for current and future Broncs.

2015 Pillars of Success
John David Franz

John David Franz, who served as mayor of Hidalgo, Texas, from 1990 to 2012, received his BA degree in Government from UTPA in 1981. While in college, he became the youngest judge in the state when, at the age of 18, he was appointed municipal court judge in his hometown. He later earned a juris doctorate from the UT Law School and in 1990 opened the Law Offices of John David Franz in McAllen.

John David Franz
Richard Garcia

Richard H. Garcia, who received a BBA degree in Management from UT Pan American in 1971, is serving his second term as mayor of his hometown, the City of Edinburg, Texas. The 1964 graduate of Edinburg High School earned his juris doctorate degree from Texas Southern University in Houston and is a federal criminal law attorney and senior partner with the firm of Garcia, Quintanilla & Palacios in McAllen.

Richard Garcia
Joann Gonzalez Gama

Houston native Joann Gonzalez Gama, co-founder and chief of schools for the IDEA Public Schools, came to South Texas to teach in the Donna Independent School District through Teach for America and stayed to help create a charter school system that educates more than 15,500 students in 30 schools throughout the Rio Grande Valley, Austin and San Antonio. She earned an M.Ed. degree in Educational Administration from UTPA in 2003.

Joann Gonzalez Gama
Carmen Pagan

Carmen Pagan, who earned BA and MA degrees in Communication Disorders from UTPA in 1987 and 1989, respectively, is co-owner of Milestones Therapeutic Associates in McAllen. The bilingual speech-language pathologist has more than 20 years of clinical experience and specializes in the assessment and treatment of children with neuromuscular disorders. Currently, she is chair of the Governor’s Commission for Women, to which she was first appointed by Governor Rick Perry in 2005.

Carmen Pagan
Linda A. Tovar

Linda A. Tovar, a Rio Grande Valley native, earned her B.B.A. degree in Management from UT Pan American in 2008. As manager of public affairs for H-E-B, she is responsible for providing leadership in the development and direction of H-E-B’s public affairs and community relations activities for the Border region. Additionally, as community liaison, she serves as a company spokesperson and oversees H-E-B’s philanthropic activities in communities throughout the region.

Linda A. Tovar
Presidential Pillar
Presidential Pillar

Alfred H. “Al” Ogletree is considered the “father of Bronc baseball,” serving as head coach at UTPA from 1969 to 1997. The legendary coach led the Broncs to their first-ever College World Series appearance in 1971 and to 1,217 wins over the course of his illustrious career. Elected to numerous state and national halls of fame, Coach Ogletree once was selected as The Sporting News National Coach of the Year and was named “head coach emeritus” by UTPA after his retirement. 

Photo credit: Gaines DuVall Sports Portrait

Coach Al Ogletree