Corpus Christi: García Plaza at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
On the seaside campus of Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi, the plaza commemorates one of the city's most accomplished citizens—Dr. Hector Pérez García. Born in Tamaulipas, Mexico, García’s family fled the Mexican Revolution in the early 1900s. After impressive academic and military careers, García became a physician and surgeon, eventually opening a clinic that provided healthcare to predominately low-income Hispanic families.
García also worked within the political system for greater equality. In 1948, he founded the American G.I. Forum, a veteran’s organization that defended the rights of Hispanics and other minorities. He served on the National Advisory Council on Economic Opportunity and as part of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations, among other appointments. In 1984, García received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, from President Ronald Reagan. In 1996, the city of Corpus Christi and Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi immortalized Garcia with a statue in this plaza. An exhibit in the campus’ Mary and Jeff Bell Library presents the life and work of García.