Tessa Martinez Pollack
Dr. Tessa Martinez Pollack is the seventh president and the first Hispanic to hold the presidency of Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU). Dr. Pollack, whose experience includes leading multi-campus, multi-college and multi-cultural institutions, oversees the university’s locations in San Antonio and Houston. The university, a Catholic liberal arts institution, launches students’ personal potential for leadership and service across the Americas through degree programs offered by the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Professional Studies, the School of Business and the Worden School of Social Service.
Dr. Pollack is a native of San Antonio, where she graduated from Our Lady of the Lake High School. She received an Associate of Arts from San Antonio College and a Master of Arts in education and business from the University of Texas in San Antonio. She also earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and a doctorate in educational administration from the University of Texas at Austin.
Dr. Pollack’s presidency at Our Lady of the Lake University caps a more than 30-year career in higher education which began at the Alamo Community College District’s San Antonio College campus. She served 14 years at San Antonio College holding lecturer, staff, and administrative positions from 1970-1976 and from 1978-1988. During 1976-1977, she served at the University of Pennsylvania to strengthen a program of support services for minority students being recruited nationwide.
Prior to her appointment as president of Our Lady of the Lake University, Dr. Pollack served 13 years as president of two of the most-modeled community college institutions in the nation, the Medical Center Campus of Miami-Dade Community College in Florida, and Glendale Community College, the second largest and oldest college of the Maricopa County Community College District in Arizona.
Nationally, Dr. Pollack serves on the Boards of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), the American Association of Presidents of Independent Colleges and Universities (AAPICU) and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). She also serves on the Boards of Humanities Texas, Texas Campus Compact, the Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, the Alamo Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the Alamo Public Telecommunications Board, the Bexar County Arts & Cultural Fund, and the San Antonio Greater Chamber of Commerce. She is the president of the Higher Education Council of San Antonio.
Hispanic Business Magazine has named her among the nation’s Outstanding Women Leaders (2005) and the “100 Influentials” in America (2003). She also received the 2005 Latina Excellence Award in Education from Hispanic Magazine and numerous other local, state and national awards.