Commencement Speakers

Spring 2021 | Mr. & Mrs Edward & Margie Escudero

EscuderoMr. Edward Escudero and Mrs. Margie Escudero believe in the power of education and opportunity. 

Mr. Escudero is president/CEO of High Desert Capital, LLC, an El Paso-based small-business financing company, and serves as vice chairman of WestStar Bank. 

He has long been a supporter of the El Paso region having served on both corporate and nonprofit boards. He currently serves on the board of El Paso Electric Company, Hunt Companies, Inc., Medical Center of the Americas Foundation, Hospitals of Providence Memorial/Sierra Campus, Paso del Norte Health Community Foundation, El Paso Collaborative for Academic Excellence, UTEP Business Advisory Council, UTEP Development Board, Texas Business Leadership Council (TBLC), Texas 2036, and the Trellis Company. 

Mr. Escudero has been recognized for his achievements and philanthropic efforts and was awarded the Lucy G. Acosta Humanitarian Award in 2020, the El Paso Community Spirit Award in 2015, the El Paso Business Hall of Fame in 2014, the Hispanos Triunfadores Award in 2013, and the UTEP Golden Nugget Award in 2012.

His wife, Margarita “Margie” Escudero, is a critical care-certified registered nurse who believes that access to education and healthcare can be transformative. She spent 15 years working as a nurse at a hospital center and an elementary school in El Paso, Texas, before stepping back from the profession to become CEO of her own active household. 

Mrs. Escudero served as a PTA board member for Mesita Elementary School, Wiggs Middle School, El Paso High School, and is a member of the President’s Development Council and the Public Art Committee at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso, as well as the Pan American Round Table of El Paso. She volunteers with Operation Rainbow, a nonprofit that delivers orthopedic care to children and adults in developing countries and served as both a translator and team coordinator on Operation Rainbow trips to Ecuador and Guatemala, respectively. 

Mr. Escudero is a CPA and received his B.B.A. in Accounting from the University of Texas at El Paso. Mrs. Escudero holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock.

Together, they have raised two children — a daughter who recently graduated from Texas A&M and a son who currently attends Harvard. Mr. & Mrs. Escudero continue to dedicate time and energy to improve the health and welfare of the community.

Past Commencement Speakers

  • 2020 (Fall) Sen. Kirk P. Watson, Founding Dean of the University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs
  • 2020 (Spring) Reverend George V. Clark, pastor of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church
  • 2019 (Fall) Massey Villarreal, CEO and President of Precision Task Group, Inc. (PTG)
  • 2019 (Spring): Dr. Philip Uri Treisman, Distinguished Teaching Professor, The University of Texas at Austin; Founder and Executive Director of UT Austin's Charles A. Dana Center
  • 2018 (Fall): Dr. Thomas M. Hatfield, first President/CEO of the Austin Community College District
  • 2018 (Spring) Dr. Rufus Glasper, President and CEO of the League for Innovation in the Community College
  • 2017 (Fall) Roy Spence, Co-founder and Chairman, GSD&M and Co-founder/CEO, The Purpose Institute
  • 2017 (Spring) Dr. Byron McClenney, former community college CEO. and Dr. Kay McClenney, founding partner of Achieving the Dream
  • 2016 (Fall) Gus Garcia, Former Austin Mayor, founding member, ACC Board of Trustees, and Marina Garcia, Educator and Community Volunteer
  • 2016 (Spring) Art Acevedo, Austin Chief of Police 
  • 2015 (Fall) Belle S. Wheelan, Ph.D., President, Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of College and Schools
  • 2015 (Spring) Dr. Walter Bumphus, president/CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges, and Dr. Aileen Bumphus, executive director of the University of Texas at Austin’s Longhorn Center for Academic Excellence Gateway Scholars Program
  • 2014 (Fall) Victor Hwang, Executive Director of the Global Innovation Summit
  • 2014 (Spring) Dr. Dan Arvizu, Director & Chief Executive of National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • 2013 (Fall) Ben Barnes, Former Lieutenant Governor of Texas
  • 2013 (Spring) Andres Alcantar, Texas Workforce Commission Chairman
  • 2012 (Fall) Wilhelmina Delco, Former Texas State Representative, founding member, ACC Board of Trustees, and Dr. Exalton Delco, Former ACC Vice-President, Academic Affairs
  • 2012 (Spring) Dr. John Roueche, UT-Austin Community College Leadership Program, and Dr. Suanne Roueche, Editor, NISOD Publications, Senior Lecturer, College of Education, UT-Austin
  • 2011 Kirk Watson, Texas State Senator
  • 2010 Dr. Belle S. Wheelan, President, Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of College and Schools
  • 2009 Wilhelmina Delco, Former Texas State Representative, founding member, ACC Board of Trustees
  • 2008 Donna Howard, Texas State Representative
  • 2007 Mark Strama, Texas State Representative
  • 2006 Richard Oppel, Editor, Austin American Statesman
  • 2005 Toby Hammett Futrell, City Manager, City of Austin
  • 2004 Gustavo Garcia Austin Mayor
  • 2003 Reynaldo Garcia, Executive Director, Texas Association of Community Colleges
  • 2002 Della May Moore, Outgoing Board of Trustees member
  • 2001 Carole Keeton Rylander, State Comptroller
  • 2000 Will Davis, Founding Member, ACC Board of Trustees
  • 1999 Kirk P. Watson, Mayor, City of Austin
  • 1998 Congressman Lloyd Doggett, U.S. House of Representatives, District 10
  • 1997 Dr. Richard Fonte, President, ACC
  • 1996 Barry Waite, Senior Vice-President Motorola
  • 1995 Dr. Donald G. Phelps, W.K. Kellogg Regents Professor, UT
  • 1994 Dr. Bill Segura, President, ACC
  • 1993 Dr. Charles A. Green, Chancellor, Houston Community College System
  • 1992 Dr. Manuel J. Justiz, A.M. Aikin Regents Chair in Education Leadership, UT
  • 1991 Rod A. Risley, Executive Director, Phi Theta Kappa
  • 1990 Lawrence Williford, Sr. VP Corporate Relations, Allstate Insurance Company
  • 1989 Hon. Parker McCollough, Texas House of Representatives
  • 1988 Larry Jenkins, VP, Lockheed Missiles and Space Company
  • 1987 Dr. William H. Pickens, Executive Director, California Postsecondary Higher Education Commission
  • 1986 Gonzalo Barrientos, State Senator, District 14
  • 1985 Dr. Dan Angell, President, ACC
  • 1984 Dr. Lorrin Kennamer, Dean, College of Education, UT
  • 1983 Raymond Bynum, Commissioner, Texas Education Agency
  • 1982 J. J. Pickle, Congressman, 10th Congressional District
  • 1981 Br. Stephen Wlash, President, St. Edward’s University
  • 1980 Dr. Kenneth Ashworth, Commissioner THECB
  • 1979 Wilhelmina Delco, State Representative District 37-D
  • 1978 Carole McClellan, Mayor, City of Austin
  • 1977 Lloyd Doggett, Member, Texas Senate
  • 1976 Jimmy Snell, Mayor Pro Tempore, City of Austin
  • 1975 Gonzalo Barrientos, Texas House of Representatives
  • 1974 C.C. Colvert, Professor Emeritus, Community College Education, UT