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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Community leader joins TCC administration as liaison

Gary Cumbie, newly appointed special assistant to the chancellor, checks grant information and deadlines, one of his many duties.  Photo by Johnathan Deaton-Lee/The Collegian
Gary Cumbie, newly appointed special assistant to the chancellor, checks grant information and deadlines, one of his many duties. Photo by Johnathan Deaton-Lee/The Collegian

By Ashley Cole/reporter

Gary Cumbie, newly appointed special assistant to the chancellor, checks grant information and deadlines, one of his many duties.  Photo by Johnathan Deaton-Lee/The Collegian
Gary Cumbie, newly appointed special assistant to the chancellor, checks grant information and deadlines, one of his many duties. Photo by Johnathan Deaton-Lee/The Collegian

Gary Cumbie sees the new Tarrant County College downtown campus as a focal point for the city and a bridge to the north side of Fort Worth.

“ I’m excited about it. It’s great for the college district and wonderful for the city,” he said.

Cumbie has just been named special assistant to the chancellor.

In that position, Cumbie will have several duties, including coordinating a new grants program.

“ I am developing a program that will create grants for each campus,” he said. “The program will provide support for the campuses and new ideas for different grants.”

Cumbie plans to look for staff members to assist him in the implementation.

“ I will be hiring a director for the program—someone with lots of experience who speaks different languages and knows the needs of the students,” he said.

“ That person will need to know about work force development and various subject matter.”

The downtown campus is set to open in January 2010.

Before coming to TCC, Cumbie worked as vice president for advancement at Texas Wesleyan University, where he was in charge of grants, communications, fundraising and director of alumni relations.

“ Some of the education issues are the same, but because Texas Wesleyan is a private school, I have a lot to learn about state colleges,” he said.

Chancellor Leonardo de la Garza said in a press release, “Cumbie’s extensive experience and positive relationships throughout the Fort Worth community will assist us in our efforts to secure much-needed grant funds, as well as strengthen an understanding of our mission among Tarrant County leaders.”

Cumbie was employed by Lone Star Gas Company, now Atmos Energy, for 32 years.

Cumbie will also serve as a liaison for government affairs and community relations at TCC’s downtown campus.

“ I have many connections in Fort Worth because of my 25 years of service. We want to help spread the message of education, be supportive and make sure that the grants are put to good use,” he said.

Cumbie has a long history with Fort Worth business leaders. He serves on the executive boards for Downtown Fort Worth Inc. and the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce.

Cumbie will use his connections in Fort Worth to assist Dr. Tahita Fulkerson, the new president of the downtown campus, with different aspects of the new campus.

“ Cumbie is a man who understands how Fort Worth works as a city, and he will help with introducing the faculty and staff at the new campus with friends and colleagues of the city government and business leaders,” she said.

“ We are really thrilled to have him be a part of the staff.”

Cumbie said, “I will be helping to build business and corporate partnerships with community leaders.

“ We want to find a way to leverage our resources for educational opportunities for the downtown campus.”

Cumbie said his task would not be easy. He expects to have some challenges.

“ There are so many organizations that need grants, so it will be difficult choosing which organizations and projects are worthy,” he said. “Securing funding will also be a challenge.”

Cumbie grew up in Grapevine and graduated from Grapevine High School. He attended the University of Texas at Arlington, where he received a degree in business administration.

He received an M.B.A. from Baylor University.

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