Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Tejano Summit at Texas A&M-Kingsville to bring together historians, scholars to discuss region's past

Memorial Student Union Building - 09/21/12 - 09/21/12

Contact: Adriana Garza-Flores
adriana.garza@tamuk.edu or 361-593-4979

Two alumni will be inducted into Texas A&M University-Kingsville’s Tejano Hall of Honor and those who helped make the Tejano Monument in the state capitol a reality will be honored during the Tejano Summit, Thursday and Friday, Sept. 20-21 on the campus of A&M-Kingsville. 

Homero Vera, curator of the Kenedy Ranch Museum in Sarita, and former state representative and renowned artist Arnold Gonzales from Corpus Christi will receive the Tejano Heritage and Tejano Service awards from the university, respectively. 

The awards honor those alumni who have worked to emulate or preserve the lifestyle of the Tejano culture. The Tejanos were the first European settlers of Texas who arrived in the state in the 16th century. Their story is now told in a multi-million dollar monument on the east lawn of the capitol grounds in Austin, dedicated in spring 2012. 

The monument was made possible thanks to a steering committee that included Vera, Cayetano Barrera, Andres Tijerina, Renato Ramirez, Richard Sanchez, Jaime Beamen, R.J. Molina and Emilio Zamora. Also being honored is Armando Hinojosa, the sculptor who designed and produced the massive monument. Vera, Zamora and Hinojosa are alumni of Texas A&I University. 

All will be honored during the Tejano Hall of Fame luncheon at noon Thursday in the Memorial Student Union Ballroom. Rudy Trevino, news anchor of KIII-TV in Corpus Christi, will serve as master of ceremonies. Barrera, president of the Tejano Monument Board of Directors, will give the keynote address. 

The free two-day Tejano Summit will feature 16 speakers—many of whom are some of the nation’s premier historical researchers on Tejano history. Summit organizers will accept donations for the Education is Our Freedom endowed scholarship in memory of South Texas civil rights leader Dr. Hector P. Garcia and his community activist siblings Dr. Xicotencátl Garcia and Dr. Clotilde Garcia. 

The summit also will include a viewing of an award-winning documentary – Tejanos: A Breed Apart – produced by A&M-Kingsville students. Alicia Villarreal, now a graduate student at the University of Texas, will introduce the film. The viewing will be at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the John E. Conner Museum on the campus of A&M-Kingsville.

Professors from eight Texas universities, including three from A&M-Kingsville, will lead lectures covering a variety of aspects of Tejano culture and history. Also on the program is State Board of Education member Mary Helen Berlanga. 

The presenters’ list was put together by Dr. Emilio Zamora of the University of Texas and Dr. Manuel Flores, chair of the Art, Communications and Theatre Department at Texas A&M-Kingsville. 

The speakers are:

  • Andres Tijerina, professor at Austin Community College;
  • Emilio Zamora, professor at the University of Texas;
  • Cayetano Barrera, president of the Tejano Monument Board of Directors;
  • Felix Almaraz, professor at Texas-San Antonio;
  •  Lino Garcia, professor emeritus at Texas-Pan American;
  • Sonia Hernandez, professor Texas-Pan American;
  • Joe A. Gonzalez, Nueces County Commissioner;
  • Barbara Canales, Corpus Christi attorney, business woman and granddaughter of civil rights activist and genealogist Dr. Clotilde Garcia
  • Shannon Baker, chair of the History, Political Science and Philosophy Department at A&M-Kingsville;
  • Gilberto Hinojosa, professor from the University of Incarnate Word in San Antonio;
  • Roger Tuller, professor of history at A&M-Kingsville;
  • Mary Helen Berlanga, member of State Board of Education;
  • Jody Briones, assistant professor of language and literature at A&M-Kingsville
  • R.J. Molina, board member of the Tejano Monument Committee
  • Roberto Villarreal, Tejano historian and film producer. 

Topics to be discussed include everything from Mexican American Women in Tejano

History to the Tejano Monument Project to the legacy of Dr. Hector P. Garcia and the role of Tejano history in state education issues. 

The Tejano Summit will start Thursday, Sept. 20, at 10 a.m. with a presentation by Andres Tijerina, a professor at Austin Community College and one of the premier writers on Tejano history issues.  It will conclude Friday after a 4 p.m. panel discussion on issues facing today’s Tejano. 

For more information on the 2012 Tejano Summit contact Dr. Manuel Flores at 361-593-3401.


This page was last updated on: October 08, 2012