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New Accession: The Tatcho Mindiola Papers

Hispanic Collections

The recent retirement of Tatcho Mindiola from the University of Houston is accompanied by the exciting announcement of the newest accession to our Hispanic Collections, the Tatcho Mindiola Papers.

As we were reminded by those who spoke in tribute of Mindiola, his legacy has been forged at the University of Houston through hard work and relationships built through mentoring and collaboration.  Born and raised in Houston, Mindiola grew up in Sunset Heights where he graduated from John H. Reagan High School in 1957 and was witness to both the overt and subtle racism of the day.  After graduation a meandering path through the 1960s and early 70s included a false start in higher education, enlistment in the army, and an eventual degree in business from the University of Houston, before giving way to a study of sociology, graduate school, an MA from UH, and a PhD from Brown.  In 1974 he would accept a dual appointment at his alma mater in sociology and Mexican American Studies.

Mindiola’s return to Houston and appointment as director of the UH Center for Mexican American Studies in 1980 mark the beginning of three and a half decades of service and scholarship that gave rise to the educator and mentor so many revere.  Under his leadership, CMAS has attracted top researchers via their Visiting Scholars Program, assisted rising scholars through their Graduate Fellowship Program, supported undergraduate academic success through the Academic Achievers Program, and published scholarly works on Latinos in Houston, Texas and the Southwest.

Not only does our campus community bear the imprint of Mindiola’s impact, the City of Houston has benefited from his exchanges with local organizations and mentoring of area high school students.  The Austin High School Academic Achievers Program he helped pioneer through CMAS mentors at-risk high school students as they seek to become first-generation college graduates in their families.  Extremely approachable and a consummate diplomat, Mindiola’s influence also extends to national organizations, like the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies, that have benefited from his insight and counsel.

Work is now underway as Lisa Cruces, assisted by PhD candidate Carlos L. Cantú from the UH History Department, oversees the organization and arrangement of the Tatcho Mindiola Papers for future scholarship.  This undertaking will no doubt provide more insight into their research potential and we look forward to sharing updates as processing of this new collection moves forward.

Until then, researchers interested in more information regarding the Tatcho Mindiola Papers may contact our Hispanic Collections Archivist, Lisa Cruces.

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