Meet the President
Dr. Toni Hopper Pendergrass joined San Juan College as President on July 2, 2012, reconnecting with her roots in San Juan County.
Before joining San Juan College, Dr. Pendergrass served as the Vice President for Learning at San Jacinto College, South Campus in Houston, Texas. She also held positions such as Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Success at El Centro College in Dallas, Texas, and Executive Dean of Communications, Mathematics, Developmental Students, and Teacher Preparation.
With an impressive educational background, Dr. Pendergrass earned her Ph.D. in Educational Administration specializing in Community College Leadership from the University of Texas at Austin. She also holds a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics and Economics, as well as a Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Economics and Business, both from New Mexico State University.
Since beginning her career in community college administration in 1995, Dr. Pendergrass has developed a deep understanding of and appreciation for the community college philosophy. Her commitment lies in promoting student success, fostering community partnerships, and driving economic development.
Under Dr. Pendergrass’ leadership, a wide variety of successful initiatives and projects have propelled San Juan College forward, ushering in new opportunities and growth for students. San Juan College High School was established in 2016, in collaboration with the four local school districts to create a high school where students have the opportunity to graduate with an associate degree while concurrently receiving a high school diploma. Also in 2016, San Juan College was selected as one of 13 community colleges to participate in the American Association of Community College’s (AACC) Pathways 2.0 project. In addition, with Dr. Pendergrass’ guidance and direction, San Juan College recently joined a cohort of 15 colleges in the National Center for Inquiry & Improvement’s Rural Guided Pathways Project. A remarkable accomplishment during Dr. Pendergrass’ tenure has been the construction and grand opening of student housing. Nízhóní Sunrise Suites, opened in the fall of 2022, with 150 beds.
Dr. Pendergrass actively serves on several boards, including the American Association of Community Colleges, New Mexico Independent Community College Board, Collaborative for Higher Education Shared Services Executive Board, Center for Legislative Energy and Environmental Research University Advisory Board, Higher Education Research and Development Institute (HERDI), San Juan College Foundation Board, Four Corners Innovations, Four Corners Economic Development, Four Corners Economic Development Foundation, Four Corners Educational Council for Student Success, Rural Leader Learning Community, San Juan Safe Communities, Leadership San Juan Board, Farmington Chamber of Commerce, Farmington Rotary Club, 30th Street Education Center Board, Western Interstate Hydrogen Hub, Women Community College Leaders, and American Association of Women in Community Colleges.
Dr. Pendergrass and her husband Doug have three children.