Ed Pastor's Phoenix College Legacy

It is with incredible sadness that we announce the passing of Congressman Ed Pastor. Arizona has lost a wonderful man.

Representative Pastor was the first in his family to graduate from college, and he used that education to change his own life and better the community. As a teacher, director of nonprofit organizations, and the first Mexican-American congressman to represent the state of Arizona, Pastor left an indelible mark on both the local community and the national political landscape. His commitment to helping others made him a strong role model for students pursuing careers in public service. He was an advocate who had a vision that students become active change agents in helping to address society’s problems.

Congressman Pastor also broke new ground as the first Latino member of the House of Representatives to represent Arizona. Representing portions of Phoenix and Glendale from 1991 through 2015, Pastor established himself as a “Latino Trailblazer and a great Arizonan.”

Representative Pastor has also been a pinnacle within the Phoenix College community. In 2008, Ed and his wife Verna attended the dedication ceremony of Pastor Plaza here on campus. The plaza was resurrected in his name because of the strong commitment to ensuring higher educational opportunities for future generations. He played an instrumental part in the establishment of Phoenix College’s bilingual nursing program, our high school bridge programs, and the creation of the National Center for Teacher Education.

Congressman Pastor’s legacy will live on through the legislation he helped author, all of the hard-working families he aided, and through the generations of individuals that he helped to inspire. We are forever appreciative of the path he helped trailblaze. Phoenix College is proud and hopeful to carry on his legacy by encouraging our students, from all backgrounds, to work together and continue the mission Ed Pastor started.

Our condolences go out to Laura Pastor, who works as the Community Liason for the college, and her family. We are grateful to her father for all of his incredible services to our country and to our community. Please stay tuned for information about planned services honoring the life of Ed Pastor. 

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Media Contact: Erika Keenan, 602-285-7842, erika.keenan@phoenixcollege.edu

About Phoenix College

Phoenix College is one of the 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District, one of the largest community college districts in the nation. Phoenix College offers academic courses leading to associate degrees, university transfer, certificates and short-term job training to more than 11,000 students annually.