Mrs. Ana G. Méndez
Ana G. Méndez was born in the town of Aguada on January 17, 1908. She was the fourth of eight children. She graduated from the Central High School in Santurce in 1935. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Education from the University of Puerto Rico in 1940 and her master’s degree at New York University in 1948. On January 7, 1941, she became cofounder of the Puerto Rico High School of Commerce.
In 1949, she founded the Puerto Rico Junior College in Río Piedras, with only 19 students; the first high school on the Island to offer short, 2-year careers. In 1965, she was appointed the first woman president of the Puerto Rico Chapter and the only woman on the Board of Directors of Eastern Airlines. She was named “one of the most outstanding citizens of the world”, an award granted by the Cazenovia College in New York. She received numerous distinctions throughout her life as the result of her arduous civic and educational work.
In 1972, she founded the Turabo University College, now University of Turabo. She was chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Puerto Rico Junior College Foundation from 1952 to 1972. In1973, she presented her resignation as President of the Foundation, and that is why its name was changed to the Ana G. Méndez Educational Foundation, now the Ana G. Méndez University System, presided by her son José F. Méndez.
Her work is the best reflection of her life. As a servant of education in Puerto Rico, Mrs. Méndez was always characterized by her high sense of service and profound dedication, and she extended her accomplishments to the development of civic projects in and outside the country. Her tenacity and perseverance have been a source of inspiration for those who have followed in her footsteps.
Mrs. Méndez, an eternal visionary, with willpower, persistence, courage and dedication was able to use those fundamental virtues that God gave her: good judgment, spiritual peace, friendship, love and a deep sense of solidarity, without considering price nor cost whatsoever.
Undoubtedly, the life of Ana G. Méndez places us before an extraordinary woman. She was a dreamer, a lover of fertile action, capable of seeing the future in dreams to later live them as they became a reality. This is how the educator lived, felt, dreamed and created; a woman who was able to win the respect and admiration of her people: Mrs. Ana G. Méndez.
“Only one word can summarize the beginning of this undertaking and its evolution: Love for the country, the youth, education and, above all, love of God.” - Ana G. Méndez