McNair Scholars

Remembering Dr. Gabriel E. Gallardo

This year, we are excited to present the inaugural Gabriel E. Gallardo Research, Student Leadership & Advocacy Symposium in honor of the legacy of Dr. Gabriel E. Gallardo who passed away last year, May 11, 2020, after a lifetime of service to educational equity, particularly on behalf of TRIO SSS, TRIO McNair, and CAMP students.

Dr. Gallardo joined the UW in 1993 as an admissions specialist for the Office of Minority Affairs. That year marked the beginning of a lifelong career encompassing an unwavering commitment toward ensuring underrepresented students have access to the highest levels of education. Over the course of his career, Dr. Gallardo has made an indelible impact within OMA&D through mentoring and coaching hundreds of students, staff members and colleagues both locally and nationally. The loss of Dr. Gallardo is deeply felt. We will always remember his dedication and tremendous contributions to students, OMA&D, and the University of Washington.

Dr. Gallardo was a lifelong Husky earning his Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degrees in Geography from the UW. From admissions specialist to director of the Early Identification Program for Professional Studies, Dr. Gallardo assumed increasing levels of responsibility within the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity and served the office in a range of leadership roles to help chart the course for diversity at the UW.

One of Dr. Gallardo’s early and significant achievements was founding the McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program. In 1999, Dr. Gallardo wrote the grant for federal TRIO funding to establish the McNair Scholars Program at the UW. He was the program director and principal investigator from its inception.

As OMA&D’s assistant vice president for new initiatives, he provided administrative oversight for seven federally funded programs, including the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) and coordinated various scholarship programs in OMA&D.

As OMA&D’s associate vice president for student success, Dr. Gallardo continued to focus on the UW experience of undergraduate students and putting them on the path to graduate and professional school. He advocated for low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented students at the institutional, state, and federal level. He oversaw all of OMA&D’s retention and academic support programs, which serve more than 6,000 students annually. In 2015, Dr. Gallardo stepped up to lead the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity as the interim vice-president during a time of transition for the organization and as racial tension on and off campuses led to a historically difficult moment for the University and our nation.

In addition to his reputation as an intelligent, values driven colleague, Dr. Gallardo’s compassionate leadership shined through in his everyday interactions. Known for his wonderful sense of humor, positive outlook and strong family values, Dr. Gallardo considered OMA&D his family, and made sure that everyone he encountered felt they belonged. Dr. Gallardo, affectionately known by some as Dr. Gabe, was more than a colleague, he was a true friend, family member and treasured mentor.