By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun
A reception for retiring Navarro College President Richard Sanchez was attended by several hundred faculty, community leaders and supporters of the college Friday at the Cook Center in Corsicana.
Sanchez and his wife, Angie, were presented with a blessing from the pope, a proclamation by Corsicana City Mayor Chuck McClanahan, Navarro County Judge H.M. Davenport, a congratulatory resolution from State Rep. Byron Cook, and gifts from the college and board of trustees.
He was praised for having taken the college from 3,400 students to more than 10,000 students, for the massive building and expansions of campuses, as well as for the partnerships created with other universities.
Sanchez told a few stories from his past, including his original life’s goal of being a lumber grader at the local lumberyard in Flagstaff, Ariz., before his wife encouraged him to go to college and become an educator.
Sanchez said that when he was a small child most of the members of his family had been underground copper miners. His family didn’t encourage education and they didn’t have books in the home.
“She was always there to give me the encouragement my family didn’t give me,” he said.
He also thanked his family, board members past and present, the staff of the college and support of the community.
“I’ve had an absolutely incredible career,” he said. “This is another chapter of my life,” he said. “I could stay here forever, but there are things I want to do before the good Lord calls you home.”
Sanchez said he was a little sad about the change in his life, but partly it’s because he loves Navarro College so much.
“It’s a wonderful institution,” he said.
Dr. David Campbell praised not only Richard Sanchez, but also his wife, Angie.
“He’s a good man, but they’re a wonderful couple, and they’ve enriched our community enormously,” Campbell said.
Dick Aldama is a current college board trustee.
“He’s had a great tenure here, one of the longest at Navarro College,” Aldama said. “I think Dr. Sanchez really took the college forward. Growth was part of his presidency. He’s been very positive for the college.”
Aldama added that the college has made a great choice in Dr. Barbara Kavalier, who takes over this week.
County Judge H.M. Davenport praised Sanchez for what he’s been able to do for the college in the last 15 years.
“Dr. Sanchez has made such an impact at the college in image and programs,” he said. “He’ll be missed but I’m proud he’s reached such a milestone in his life and can enjoy himself.”
Sanchez has been nice to work with, said board member Faith Holt.
“Everything you’ve ever heard is true,” she said. “He’s one of the best people in the world to work with. The college is really going to miss him, but I’m also looking foward to working with Dr. Kavalier.”
Janet Jacobs may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Want to “soundoff” to this article? Email: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com