EDINBURG, TEXAS - The University of Texas Pan American is now home to an important historical collection from one of the most influential Congressmen of all times.
The Legendary mission native Eligio "Kika" De La Garza is no longer actively involved in politics but his more than 30 years of unprecedented work as a United States Congressman will forever be part of out nation's history, no one more proud of the former Texas District he's had on our country than the UTPA and South Texas Community. UT Pan American is the institution where 85 year old started his education when it was Edinburg Junior College. On this day, UTPA Administrators, students, staff, alumni donors and others gathered at the University Library to celebrate De La Garza and witness the unveiling of his congressional papers. He's humbled and honored.
"I started in Edinburg Junior College and who would of ever though that I'd be here today, thanks to a my family and my friend."
After receiving his law degree, De La Garza represented the Rio Grande Valley in the Texas Legislature for more than 12 years. He then served as congressman from 1965 to 1997 during residential administration spanning from Lyndon Johnson to Bill Clinton. He is best known for being the first Hispanic to head the powerful agriculture committee and successfully introduce legislation that helped farmers and the local economy. He hopes his work is an inspiration especially to students.
UTPA President Robert Nelsen says the University is proud to be the home of De La Garza's Congressional papers. The Collection consists of 400 linear feet of archival material that will be a valuable historical resource for many in the years to come.