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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    UA dedicates ILC wall to former president

    Former President Peter Likins speaks at the dedication of a mural to former President Manuel Pacheco at the Manuel T. Pacheco Integrated Learning Center Sunday morning.
    Former President Peter Likins speaks at the dedication of a mural to former President Manuel Pacheco at the Manuel T. Pacheco Integrated Learning Center Sunday morning.

    A tribute wall on the south side of the Manuel T. Pacheco Integrated Learning Center was dedicated to the former UA president Sunday for his work on the ILC project.

    Manuel Pacheco, who served from 1991 to 1997, was honored at a celebration attended by President Robert Shelton, former President Peter Likins, and friends and family of Pacheco.

    The wall features pictures of Pacheco, the first Hispanic president of the UA, and his family and the words “”student focused,”” “”integrity”” and “”hombre de confianza.””

    Likins said Pacheco’s early challenge in his time as president was to regain commitment to undergraduate education, and the ILC was one way to help freshmen.

    “”He realized that freshmen had to be treated different,”” Likins said. “”They needed modern technology, cohorts, and they needed to feel like an integral part of the university.””

    During Pacheco’s tenure, the UA was often criticized for being too research-focused. It became his dream to help balance the UA and improve the school’s commitment to undergraduate education, Likins said.

    Pacheco said he was one of 12 children who grew up on a farm in northern New Mexico.

    “”We grew up extremely poor, but with exceptionally high values,”” Pacheco said. “”My parents couldn’t afford much, but they insisted on integrity and that everyone do his or her share, and we grew up valuing education.””

    Although Pacheco’s career at the UA has been characterized by budget cuts, students were still a priority financially, said Jaime Gutierrez, associate vice president of community relations at the UA.

    “”The ILC …really was dedicated to underclassmen, freshmen, and making sure that their academic experience was successful,”” Gutierrez said. “”It is not a mistake that it was next to the library.””

    Andrew Gonzalez, Pacheco’s son-in-law, said the ILC is great for freshmen because it starts them on the right path for university life.

    When Pacheco was fighting for the ILC, UA students were fighting for a new Student Union Memorial Center.

    Many believed it was an either/or decision that needed to be made because of budget cuts, but Pacheco made it possible for both to happen, according to a press release.

    “”He is someone who never quit on his dreams. It is clear that he has dedicated his career to education at all levels,”” Shelton said. “”We are immensely proud that his name is on this building.””

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