TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The 21 days of waiting are over for Dr. Juan Mejia, as he was officially announced as the new president of Tyler Junior College today.
“I’m honored with the privilege of serving as the seventh president of the institution," said Mejia. "Of course, today, I’m extremely grateful to all those who provided a vote of confidence from the community, internal and external, and look forward to serving our students and our communities in the best way possible.”
While today was a celebration of new beginnings for Mejia, it was a celebration of the end of an era for Dr. Mike Metke.
“What an amazing board and community and the employees here, I’ve never worked with a family like the TJC family,” said Metke.
Today’s TJC board meeting was the passing of the presidential baton from Metke — who served as TJC’s president for 12 years — to Mejia, who is transitioning from the role of president for branch locations and district provost.
“Of the people I’ve had a role in becoming president, there ins’t a single one more prepared than Dr. Mejia," said Metke. "I’ve seen him from a young man to this great leader.”
Dr. Metke’s wife Donna was present for his last board meeting.
“It was important to be here to see that recognition; culmination of a lifetime of giving," said Donna Metke, Dr. Mike Metke’s wife.
That recognition came in the form of a resolution, a candy bar and large cake and confetti cannons.
“What makes an institution great is a board that is visionary and the faculty and staff and administrators who have a commitment to excellence and students who are heroes and believe in education," said Mejia. "And a community that is supportive and there really isn’t any place like Tyler Junior College.”
Although he said he’s in denial that it’s the end, Dr. Metke said he’s looking forward to the time he’ll be spending with family and Dr. Mejia said he’s looking forward to following in the footsteps of his friend and mentor.
“We’re trying to make sure there’s a smooth transition," said Metke. "We’re doing a whole number of things together.”