Highlights of Dr. Christina Ponce’s presidency (2019-present)
Dr. Christina Ponce became Temple College’s 11th president in January 2019. Prior to becoming president of Temple College, Dr. Ponce held positions with Austin Community College, El Paso Community College, Lee College and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Dr. Ponce received her Ph.D. in educational administration from the Community College Leadership Program at The University of Texas at Austin. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in education from UT and a master’s degree in political science from Texas State University.
Events during Dr. Ponce’s presidency:
Fall: The Circle of Support Student Resource Center opened in the Arnold Student Union. The resource center includes a food pantry, an office staffed by a social worker and an office where students can apply for emergency loans. Opening the resource center was part of the college’s new Circle of Support initiative, designed to help students with non-academic needs such as childcare, food, housing, mental health care and transportation that may be keeping them from meeting their educational goals.
Fall: The engineering and architectural firm Stantec begins working with the college to develop a new Facilities Master Plan.
Spring: Longtime men’s basketball coach Kirby Johnson retires after reaching several milestones, including 800 career wins and 100,000 points scored by players under his direction.
Spring: The college prepares for its affirmation of accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Spring: The Temple College chapter of Phi Theta Kappa is recognized as a Five-Star Chapter, the highest designation a chapter can earn.
March 2020: A coronavirus pandemic hits the country, forcing the college to stop holding in-person classes and moving all classes online.
August 2020: Temple College moves to a new 8-week course model and encourages students to take two courses every 8 weeks. The new initiative, called Focus2Finish, was developed as part of the college’s re-accreditation process.
October 2020: Longtime Trustee Lydia Santibañez earns the 2020 M. Dale Ensign Trustee Leadership Award from the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT).
May 1: Trustees ask Temple voters to approve a $124.9 million bond issue to fund an expansjon of the Health Sciences Center and the construction of three new buildings. The bond passes, 1,484-1,219
May 15: A new Temple College Alumni and Friends Association is formally launched at commencement.
June: Engineering Technology students Jennifer Ognibene, Christopher Walding and Mariah Wolschleger take second place in the Engineering Technology/Design category of the national SkillsUSA competition for college students.
September: Temple College receives a $3.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to partner with Texas A&M University-Central Texas, Taylor ISD, and other school districts to prepare more Hispanic and low-income students for careers in high paying, high-demand, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields.