Lilia Garcia was appointed to the Texas Historical Commission in 2018. Born in Raymondville, her family has been involved in South Texas ranching and land management since the 1850s. Growing up on her family’s ranch in Kennedy County, she is not only a fifth-generation rancher, but also a descendant of South Texas farmers. With her sister, she organized a steer operation on the family ranch in Willacy County. Family roots in Texas agriculture, ranching, and farming, as well as the preservation of Texas history and lands, inspired her to study history, political science, and art. As a university lecturer, she now promotes her love of Texas to future generations.
Garcia received a master’s degree in history at Southern Methodist University, where she also received a bachelor’s degree in political science/Ibero-American Studies. Seeing art and history intertwined, she furthered her studies in art history, studying in Spain and England and working at Christie’s auction house in New York City. She currently lectures at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and was previously a lecturer at the University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas Southmost College and a faculty member of St. Joseph’s Academy in Brownsville.
Currently, Garcia serves on the board of directors of the Camille Playhouse in Brownsville and the advisory board of the Museum of South Texas History in Edinburg. She is a member of the Brownsville Historical Association and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.