Alumni Achievers - Dr. Norma E. Cantu

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Smithsonian Traveling Exhibit:
“Portraits of Alumni Achievement”

Dr. Norma E. Cantú ‘73

“The lessons learned from my parents have shaped not only my intellect but my character.”

Dr. Norma E. Cantú

Dr. Norma Elia Cantú ‘73, BSSED
UT at San Antonio

Norma Cantú is the oldest of 11 children born to a Tejana mother from Corpus Christi and a Mexican father. The discernment of right and wrong, the potential for achievement, a strong work ethic, and the value of education are but some of the ideas instilled by family that provide inspiration to her. It was a difficult decision to drop out of college at one point due to financial difficulties in her family.

At the time, it was the only option. Her determination and persistence led her back to finish her degree and eventually pursue her doctorate degree. She credits several mentors, including family and professors at different universities, for providing guidance and encouragement that would lead to her success.

Cantú’s fictionalized memoir, “Canícula: Snapshots of a Girl En La Frontera” chronicles her coming of age in the U.S.-México border towns of Laredo and Nuevo Laredo during the fifties and sixties. This touching and powerful account of growing up in South Texas earned Cantú the prestigious Premio Aztlán Literary Prize in 1995. The Premio Aztlán is a national literary award established to encourage and reward emerging Chicana and Chicano authors.

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Alumni Relations / Office of the Vice President for Institutional Advancement
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