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With the support of the University of Arizona College of Applied Science & Technology, the University South Foundation spearheaded the dedication of the Judy A. Gignac Education Center at the University of Arizona campus in Sierra Vista on Thursday, May 30, 2024.


Judy Gignac was an exceptional individual, business woman, and civic leader who made an extraordinary impact on Sierra Vista, Cochise County, and the great State of Arizona. She was the first female ever elected to the Cochise County Board of Supervisors, served as an Arizona Board of Regent from 1994 to 2002, and received her Honorary Doctorate Degree from the University of Arizona.


She was also a founding member of community organizations such as the Legacy Foundation of Southeastern Arizona and Ft. Huachuca 50 - organizations that are still serving our region today.


Most notably, Judy was pivotal in the donation of the land from the Cracchiolo Family and establishment of the University of Arizona in Sierra Vista, which brought first-of-its-kind access to university-level higher education to traditional, non-traditional, and first generation students in rural Arizona. The University of Arizona campus in Sierra Vista (now known as the College of Applied Science & Technology) and the University South Foundation are in existence today as a result of her belief in public service, innovation, and advancement of higher education in Southern Arizona - facets that have left an indelible mark on the fabric of our community.


Similar to other named buildings in Sierra Vista and Cochise County, the naming of the Judy A. Gignac Education Center serves as a symbol of the values our community cherishes and the ideals we strive to uphold. It connects leaders like Judy to future generations by highlighting the fact that even in small towns like Sierra Vista, individual contributions can make for substantial impacts and hard work and dedication can make for profound difference.

The commemoration ceremony was attended by many of Sierra Vista's and Cochise County's elected officials, community leaders, friends of Judy, and Judy's beloved family. It also featured key speakers that highlighted the importance of Judy's impact, as well as the impact of higher education in Cochise County:


Cecilia Mata, Chair of the Arizona Board of Regents


Dr. Nicol Rae, Acting Dean of the College of Applied Science & Technology


Dr. Linda Denno, Associate Dean of the College of Applied Science & Technology


Dr. Randy Groth, Founding Dean of the University of Arizona Sierra Vista Campus


Callie Groth, President of the University South Foundation


Fiona DeYoung, Representative of Congressman Juan Ciscomani, presented the University South Foundation with a plaque honoring the commemoration of the building.


Sky Islands Regional Partnership conducted the formal ribbon cutting ceremony.

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