Ana G. Méndez
|Ana G. Méndez|
Founder of the Ana G. Mendez University System
January 7, 1908|
Aguada, Puerto Rico
|Died||February 18, 1997
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Méndez was one of eight children born to Francisco González Monje and Ana González Cofresí in Aguada, Puerto Rico. She was a direct descendant of the Puerto Rican pirate Roberto Cofresí, on her mother's side.
In 1935, Méndez graduated from high school in Santurce; she earned her bachelor's degree in commercial education from the University of Puerto Rico in 1940. It was during the 1940s that she realised that students should have the option of having a short term college for a commercial or technical career - this led in 1941, to her founding the Puerto Rican High School of Commerce with 3 teachers and nine students.
Founder of Puerto Rico Junior College
In 1948, Méndez graduated from New York University with a master's degree. In 1948, she founded the Puerto Rico Junior College in Rio Piedras with 19 students; this became the first educational institution in Puerto Rico to offer an associate degree (2 year college). An educational visionary, Méndez founded universities, television stations, college classes by mail and as mentioned above the associate degree.
Universities founded by Mendez
Among the universities founded by Mendez are:
- The University of Turabo, which is located in Caguas, Puerto Rico with branches in Cayey, Isabela, Ponce, Yabucoa, Barceloneta and Naguabo.
- The Universidad del Este (University of the East), which is located in Carolina, Puerto Rico with branches in Santa Isabel, Cabo Rojo, Barceloneta, Utuado and in Yauco;
- The Metropolitan University, which is located in Cupey with branches in Bayamon, Aguadilla, Jayuya, and in Comerio.
Ana G. Mendez Foundation
Mendez also founded the "Ana G. Mendez Foundation" which grants scholarships to outstanding students and she also found TV Channel 40 "The Ana G. Mendez Educational Channel". What today is known as the "Ana G. Mendez University System" and started with only nine students, now has over 17 thousand students, 800 professors and 500 administrative employees.
In 1965, Méndez became the "first" and only Puerto Rican woman amongst the Board of Directors of Eastern Air Lines. In 1975, the Catholic University of Puerto Rico awarded to Méndez an honorary doctoral degree in humanities.[dead link] Ana G. Méndez died on 18 February 1997 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico honored her memory by naming an avenue in San Juan after her. On 10 July 2003, Mayor Buddy Dyer of Orlando, Florida announced the opening of the "Ana G. Mendez Metro Orlando University".
- suagm.edu - official site.