UOG President Enriquez prioritizing professional workforce development for Guam and region
President Anita Borja Enriquez took her oath to serve as the 12th President of the University of Guam on Tuesday, November 14, with a promise to continue developing a professional workforce that will not have to leave the island for better economic opportunities.
“The exodus of families leaving the island for better employment and more affordable living destinations,” said President Enriquez, calls for “the urgency to build the pipeline of professionals to support these gaps and meet these demands is upon us.”
President Enriquez spoke about her humble beginnings, including when she wore rain-soaked, “hand-me-down" shoes at her elementary school and volunteered to clean bathrooms in exchange for hot school lunches.
She emphasized that a solid work ethic and higher education can transform lives.
“This experience was my earliest memory of doing the best work I could do no matter the task,” said President Enriquez.
A first-generation college student, she ultimately earned her Doctorate in Business Administration.
“I learned the importance of hard work, and that if you wanted positive change in life, education, particularly higher education, is critical," President Enriquez said.
“Let’s propel forward through our new strategic initiatives, navigating through our future no matter how rocky the journey,” she said. “Let’s explore new technologies and solutions and build the professional workforce who can assess and act on critical issues across society to leave no one behind and to raise the quality of life for all.”
Approximately 500 attendees, including students, faculty, and staff from the UOG community, entrepreneurs and business leaders, government officials, military representatives and foreign dignitaries from the Micronesia region, Taiwan, and others attended the investiture. UOG’s research partners from the University of Hawaii, National Institutes of Health and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory also sent representatives to the occasion.
The UOG Board of Regents voted to appoint Enriquez to the UOG presidency following a competitive search that saw more than 30 U.S. and international applicants. President Thomas W. Krise retired in August 2023.
Chief Justice Robert Torres of the Supreme Court of Guam expressed confidence in Dr. Enriquez’s leadership as he described UOG’s role as “a beacon of knowledge, island wisdom and academic excellence” in the Western Pacific region.
“As we celebrate her investiture, we also celebrate the invaluable role that educational institutions like the University of Guam play in shaping not only young minds but the very foundation of our justice system,” Justice Torres said. “The effective administration of justice relies on an educated and informed community.”
Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero expressed confidence President Enriquez will move the stature of the University to greater heights.
“We will support you in any way we can to meet the mission of the University of Guam,” the governor said.