Alumnus Rafael Garcia, MCC partner John Knox Village honored at MCCA convention

At the Missouri Community College Association’s Nov. 2-4 convention in Branson, MCC Foundation board member Rafael Garcia was honored as a distinguished MCC alumnus, and John Knox Village in Lee’s Summit received a Distinguished Business and Industry Award.

Rafael Garcia

Garcia graduated with an associate in architecture degree from Metropolitan Community College-Longview in 1976. He has fond memories of playing basketball at Longview, helping  the team defeat the top-ranked community college in the country.


Garcia went on to acquire bachelor’s degrees in architectural engineering and environmental design and a master’s degree in architecture and engineering at the University of Kansas.

His current practice, Garcia Architecture, has won more than 100 professional design awards and is one of the most successful architecture firms in the region. In the Kansas City area, Garcia’s work can be seen at the Sprint Center, Union Station, Menorah Medical Center, Johnson County Jail, Sprint campus and the Kansas City Zoo, to name a few.

He is involved with many community boards and organizations and is also active in Hispanic advocacy, serving as a U.S. ambassador to Acapulco, Mexico; as Missouri’s representative to the U.S. Senate Republican Task Force on Hispanic Affairs; and as president and board member of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City.

He has continued to come back to campus during Homecoming events, and most recently served as a panelist sharing memories and successes at MCC-Longview with current students.

MCCA’s Distinguished Alumni Award is presented annually to exceptional individuals who have attended a Missouri community college.  It is one of the most prestigious awards presented by the membership of the Association.

Rafael Garcia (center) with Chancellor Mark James (left) and MCC-Longview President Kirk Nooks
Rafael Garcia (center) with Chancellor Mark James (left) and MCC-Longview President Kirk Nooks

John Knox Village

john-knox-villageJohn Knox Village is one of the largest retirement communities in the Kansas City area. It was a natural fit for Metropolitan Community College to develop a workforce development partnership with the company.

Together, the partners engineered a program that currently serves three cohorts of 10 students who are employed by John Knox and are pursuing health care degrees or certificates at MCC.

So far the program has shown a 99 percent success rate, and the company and the College are looking to expand the program to include another cohort sometime this year.

MCCA’s Distinguished Business and Industry Award is presented annually to individuals and/or businesses that have engaged in significant partnerships with their local community college to stimulate economic activity and support community college students and programs.  It is one of the most prestigious honors the association presents.