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    Tricolour spirit led Mexican student to Queen's

    “How did you hear about Queen’s?” is a question Rico Garcia (Artsci’13), who hails from the northern Mexican city of Monterrey, gets asked quite often. The answer is he started making Queen’s connections at the age of seven.

    “I joined the cub scouts at my school when I was seven and a couple of the leaders were Queen’s graduates,” says Mr. Garcia. “They became family friends and eventually I ended up going to summer camp near Kingston.”

    While in high school, Mr. Garcia, who is the outgoing president of the Queen’s Student Alumni Association (QSAA), was encouraged to apply to Queen’s.

    “I remember getting called to the principal’s office at my high school,” recalls Mr. Garcia. “The principal and three other teachers, all Queen’s graduates, were sitting there looking very serious. I thought I was in trouble, but then the principal said ‘congratulations’ and they all raised their hands in the air and broke into an Oil Thigh.”

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    It’s probably that introduction to the strength of the Queen’s community that motivated Mr. Garcia to become heavily involved in student life. He served as president of the Arts and Science Undergraduate Society in his third year, as a residence don for the past two years, and as president of the QSAA this last year.

    “Queen’s has given me so much over the past four years, it’s the least I can do to give back and help continue the Queen’s community and spirit,” he says.

    Mr. Garcia will return to Queen’s next year, as he completes his undergraduate degree in economics and development studies. But he’s already planning a busy year, as he will continue his work as a residence don and will serve a term as chair of the Alma Mater Society Board of Directors.

    In addition, Mr. Garcia is the permanent president for the Arts and Science Class of 2013, a position which will see him coordinate reunions for his class every five years. He wants to ensure the Queen’s spirit he feels on campus continues after graduation.

    “I’ve had great opportunities,” he says. “But they would not have been possible without the people I’ve worked with. There have always been great friends along the way — students and alumni — who have encouraged me. They’re my Queen’s family.”

    He won’t be the only student from Monterrey on campus. Mr. Garcia’s brother, Max, has decided to attend Queen’s next year.