Here, you'll be able to trace the impact of this young University and learn about the students, faculty, staff, alumni and community that have made the University's mission real. It's a story 50 years in the making that continues today. Visit regularly as new additions to our story are incorporated.
The Harold R. Yeary Library benefits from a continued expansion brought on by the University’s addition of graduate degrees. Pooling resources with Laredo Junior College, the University eliminates duplication and accumulates $1 million in books and periodicals.
Despite enduring constant threats of State budget cuts, the Institute of International Trade is fast earning national and international recognition for its international trade expertise. Playing on the city’s status as largest inland port and widespread business community support, the Institute aligns itself to the University’s Master of Business in International Trade. Soon, the University brings students from around the world to Laredo. The Institute also develops additional prominence during the era of the Mexican peso devaluation. With its business indicator publication “México and Laredo’s Retail Sales,” it is the leading barometer of the impact of the extended devaluation.
Dr. Donald Critchlow, who founded the University’s nationally visible University Reading Clinic, announces his intent to study theology. Then-Mayor, Aldo Tatangelo, proclaims a special day in his honor. Longtime education professors Dr. Eduardo Hinojosa and Dr. Juan Lira lead the Reading Clinic forward.
University Hall welcomes students. It is designed by Laredo-based architects Alfonso Leyendecker and Guillermo Cavazos, features dramatic brick arches, a lushly paved courtyard and redwood slat benches encouraging clustered seating.
The Laredo Times names Dr. Billy F. Cowart as its “Man of the Year.” It credits his success at building the upper-level institution into a national example of the hybrid concept, its pioneering work in bilingual education and the international resource of the Institute for International Trade. It also notes his personal involvement in charitable efforts, such as the restoration of public confidence in the United Fund, precursor to the United Way of Laredo.
LSU Chinese students share their insight into Chinese New Year and married students Loog-Chich Sung and wife Thin Sung have a special gift coming in the New Year of 4678 – their child is on the way.
The Washington’s Birthday Celebration festivities enjoy the musical participation of the Texas A&I University-Kingsville Mariachi Javelina through the sponsorship of sister campus, Laredo State University under request of LSU president Dr. Billy F. Cowart.
The Board of Regents of the University System of South Texas establishes the Sue Killam Professorship in the Foundations of Economics.
LSU faculty member Dr. Lem Railsback shares his travel and research adventure, “Behind the Great Wall of China,” in a special photo travel feature in The Laredo Times that includes photos by David Hathcox.
Dr. Rafael Lecuona, LSU political science professor, shares his insight into his uncle, the revered Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona, in a moving feature in The Laredo Times.
Ten years into its existence, Laredo State University has graduated 1,897 graduates and offers bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice, business administration, international trade, elementary and secondary education and bilingual education. Master’s degree programs include general business, international trade and several fields of education.
Dr. Rosa Maria Vida, joins the Laredo Teacher Corps on the LSU campus as a team leader and training specialist. The University of Texas graduate would go on to become Dean of the future College of Education here.
The March of Dimes honors the service of LSU faculty and administrators Dr. Rex Ball and Candy Hein at the MOD Ball.
Dr. F. Allen Briggs, LSU professor of English, is Commencement Speaker at the May LSU Graduation Exercises.
President Dr. Billy F. Cowart leads the installation of the first BorderFest Celebration, celebrating the heritage of the area that would eventually become the official Independence Day Celebration in Laredo. The Laredo Times chooses Dr. Cowart as its “Man of the Year,” noting he has led the transformation of a temporary educational center into a respected University in the space of a decade.
Dr. Billy F. Cowart announces that in 1980-81 LSU and Laredo Junior College together will spend $500,000 on the operation of the Harold R. Yeary Library. Since 1970, LSU has helped the Library to grown with more than $1 million invested in new books and reference materials for the Library.
Dr. Whitney Halladay, Chancellor of LSU’s governing University System of South Texas Board, dies at age 59 while attending a family reunion in Greenwood, Miss. Dr. Dwayne M. Leach is named to replace him in October.
Dr. Ray Keck, LSU Spanish professor, is named chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Laredo Philharmonic Association.
LSU students Celestino Mendiola III, Elizabeth Newman and Thelma Gonzalez, alongside their professors Dr. Lex Berrios and Dr. Jimmy Hale, share their research on runaway girls in Webb County with local agencies.
The Laredo News offers a feature story titled “Our Bearded Ones” documenting local examples of a national resurgence of beards in males. Singled out are LSU professors Dr. Ray Smith, Dr. Leon DeKing and Dr. Lem Railsback.
Dr. Norma E. Cantú becomes a role model for Laredo students – once a student at LSU, she returns as part of the English faculty. A protégé of Dr. F. Allen Briggs, she received her Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska and was also a Fulbright Scholar.
A speech by LSU professor of history Dr. Rex Ball on national defense from the American Revolution to WWII is hailed as “awakening and inspirational” by Laredo’s Lucy Meriwether Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Violinist James Hazlerig joins his parents, Dr. Jack Hazlerig on recorder and mother Sylvia Hazlerig on piano for an intimate performance at the Tuesday Music and Literature Club.
Dr. Eddie Hinojosa of LSU’s famed Reading and Learning Clinic, outlines diagnostic techniques to help determine reading difficulty in children in a special feature in The Laredo Times.
LSU professor Dr. Stanley Green helps lead an effort by the Webb County Heritage Foundation to inventory Laredo and Webb County’s historical properties through an exhaustive survey.
Dr. Naunihal Singh, LSU professor of Business, shares his perspective on “The Glories of India,” his home country, with the members of the Women’s City Club. The prolific author and researcher also speaks French, Hindi and Japanese.
LSU business student Walter Patino of Lima, Peru shares his “homesick” recipe for Picante de Gallina (Spiced Chicken) with readers of The Laredo Times.
Over 100 LSU faculty and staff attend a staff holiday party hosted by Mrs. Janet Cowart, Dr. Cowart’s wife, and Mary Treviño, director of Admissions and Advisement.
The Laredo Times reports that State funding appears favorable for LSU with a projected operating budget of $2,513,984 in 1982 and $2,573,499 in 1983, according to University president Dr. Billy F. Cowart.
Dr. Rex Ball, professor of History, provides a lecture on the evolution of the Presidency to Women’s City Club members.
Dr. Donald Critchlow, an LSU specialist in the teaching of reading and lead proponent of the acclaimed LSU Reading Clinic, announces his intent to leave the University and pursue Catholic priesthood at the age of 51.
Dr. Leon DeKing, LSU professor of Education, is re-elected chairman of the Webb County Historical Commission.
Dr. Hal Kanter, professor of Education at LSU, attend the executive board meeting of the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented. He is the newly elected Region I representative to the Association.
A barbershop quartet of LSU’s Dr. Billy Cowart and Dr. Gary Hood, as well as Robert McAshan of LNB and Chuck Snyder of the Chamber of Commerce, delight crowds at the Methodist Fellowship Hall Valentine Tea.
Dr. Ray Keck, LSU professor of Spanish, and E.H. Corrigan, helped lead the discussion of the future of the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra. Dr. Keck is Board president.
The Laredo Times reports that Women’s City Club members “swoon” while professor Dr. Billy Cowart “croons” as part of his lecture on philosophy through folk song at their meeting.
LSU professor of English Dr. Jack Hazlerig has hand-built a harpsichord which wife Sylvia Hazlerig will perform on during the final concert of the season for the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra. She will perform the Brandenburg Concerto and is a teacher of key and strings at Laredo Junior College.
A Laredo News article notes that Laredo State University has successfully pioneered the concept on an upper-level university since its Fall 1970 opening. It notes the 1700 graduates to date, the nationally-respected Reading Clinic and the internationally known Institute for International Trade.
A dedicated 32-page section in The Laredo Citizen profiles LSU, its programs, faculty and staff on the occasion of LSU’s 10th Anniversary. The section also serves notice of the launching of the On to Excellence Campaign, planned to reaffirm the level of community support that created the University. Among section highlights are the University’s production of degreed graduates to date, the Reading Clinic and plans to add dormitory space to the campus shared with Laredo Junior College. The section also includes a Summer School Session Schedule.
The centennial edition of The Laredo Times notes that local citizens comprise one-third of the University System of South Texas Board of Directors. This includes Sue Killam, the first Laredo woman to serve on the Board; William H. Baker, former Times publisher, and William Peña, Laredo-born architect of Houston.
Dr. Leo Sayavedra, LSU Academic Dean, provides the Commencement Address at the Martin High School Commencement Ceremonies.
LSU awards diplomas to 61 graduates in Commencement Ceremonies featuring Dr. Domingo Arechiga, LJC President, as Commencement Speaker.
LSU professor of history and former collegiate champion swimmer Dr. Rex Ball spends his summers teaching youngsters how to swim at the Main Boys Club. He is also a member of the Board of Directors.
LSU president Dr. Billy Cowart announces that faculty members will receive a 17.06% increase in salary for the 1981-82 school year in action approved by the University System of South Texas Board.
The On to Excellence Campaign announces it has successfully raised $171,500 to date in support of Laredo State University.
A new Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration-Accounting is announced for offer in the Fall from LSU. It will enable students to take the CPA Exam after 30 hours of preparation in the major area.
Dr. Rafael Lecuona, LSU professor of Political Science, and wife Diana emerge as second place winners in an exclusive bridge tournament hosted by Congressman Jim Collins at his Irving ranch.
A new Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration-Accounting is announced for offer in the Fall from LSU. It will enable students to take the CPA Exam after 30 hours of preparation in the major area.
A new minority scholarship fund is announced for LSU as part of the Legislative Academic Minority Scholarship Program.
LSU awards diplomas to 96 graduates in Summer Commencement Ceremonies.
New faculty joining LSU in the Fall include Dr. Sandra Richard in Business and International Trade; Dr. Patsy Mendoza in Education and Psychology; Joan Campbell as head of Technical Services at the Yeary Library and Tony Leow as Serials Librarian at the Library.
Former Prime Minister of England, Sir Harold Wilson, presents a series of lectures as part of LSU’s On to Excellence Campaign. A seated dinner is also held at the Kazen College Center.
The Laredo News observes that LSU’s MBA in International Trade is attracting interest and students from all over the world. Students are coming from Canada, Ghana, Nigeria, Iran, Taiwan, and Mexico, among others. Lee Gardner, who handles recruitment and job placement for the program, credits the rapid growth of international trade worldwide.
LSU president Dr. Cowart sports a suit and tie from 1881 as part of a vintage benefit fashion show presented by the Women’s City Club for their Nostalgia Charity Show at the Laredo Civic Center.
The new Student Assistance Center at LSU holds an Open House. Its creation was made possible by a federal grant of $200,000.
Former Ambassador to México, Robert Krueger, presents a lecture on US-Mexico relations as part of On to Excellence Campaign.
The Chinese Student Association at LSU elects its first officers: Theresa Chang, reporter; Mou-Yio Kao, treasurer; Cherng-Shyang Wu, vice president; Cheng-Chung Chung, president and Win-Wen Sun, secretary. Dr. Rafael Lecuona, LSU professor of Political Science, is faculty advisor.
LSU professor of Education Dr. Lem Londos Railsback recounts his summer adventures as a commercial fisherman in Kotzebue, Alaska in a feature story published in The Laredo News.
LSU awards 65 degrees to graduates in Fall Commencement Ceremonies.
The LSU Reading Clinic receives a $50,000 gift from the D. D. Hachar Charitable Trust Fund. At the time of the gift, the Clinic had served over 1000 students and trained more than 500 teachers.
Enrollment at LSU betters 900 for the Spring Semester. In its first decade, the University has awarded diplomas to 1700 graduates.
Gerald Schwebel, LSU assistant director of administrative services, says his primary purpose is to “attract prospective employers to the campus to recruit our graduates” via the University’s Student Assistance and Placement Service centers.
Don Critchlow, former LSU professor and founder of the Reading Clinic, is ordained and celebrates his first Mass at St. Patrick’s Church in Laredo. Colleagues and former students attend.
“Reaganomics” are blamed for the demise LSU’s 10-year-old Teacher Corps Program, with federal budget reductions dealing the final blow.
Members of the first graduating class of Texas A&I University at Laredo meet to discuss a reunion after 10 years. Prior to 1972, 127 graduated from the A&I campus.
LSU salaries for its faculty are ranked the highest 9-month average among peer colleges and universities in Texas…including UT-Austin and A&M-College Station.
Dr. F. Allen Briggs, a founding member of the LSU faculty and beloved professor of English, dies suddenly at age 66 of an apparent heart attack. He joined LSU in 1970.
Dr. Julio F. Madrigal is selected as the 1982 Teacher of the Year by his LSU faculty peers. He would go on to serve the University for 45 years, impacting countless students and leading numerous federally funded programs.
A committee of the Texas Association of State Senior Colleges and Universities Business Officers ranks LSU fourth among nine peers for student expenditures at $1,357 per student.
The Board of Directors of the University System of South Texas approves a Computer Science program for LSU. It will be BBA in Computer Science, says Dr. Billy F. Cowart, president.
The Laredo News reporter Richard Diebel offers a four-part series that advocates for a combination of LSU and a vocational-technical high school district.
The second Borderfest celebrating Independence Day in Laredo, is held at the Civic Center July 2, 3 and 4. Dr. Billy F. Cowart, LSU president, helps lead the event again and reports it has doubled in size and scope.
The Mexican peso devaluation seems to have a silver lining as a catalyst to increased enrollment at LSU. University System of South Texas Chancellor Dr. Duane Leach notes that unemployment that has accompanied the devaluation is driving enrollment at LSU and all USST campuses. LSU posts a whopping 18 percent increase to 901 students for Fall 1982.
The University completes its first fundraising campaign, “On to Excellence.” Exceeding its $400,000 goal, the campaign helped to expand the Library collection, recruit faculty and provide fellowships and scholarships to students. A distinguished lecture series was also part of the Campaign and attracted luminaries such as Sir Harold Wilson, former Prime Minister of Great Britain; Robert Kruger, Ambassador at Large to México and conservative lightning rod William Rusher.
Conservative commentator and author William Rusher is guest lecturer for an “On to Excellence” Campaign event benefiting the University and is hosted for a pre-lecture cocktail and dinner at Ana and Chuy Zúñíga’s home.
The Killam Family donates $100,000 towards the construction of a 60-room shared dormitory on the LJC-LSU joint campus. Radcliffe Killam notes, “…the best way Laredoans can make friends throughout the world is to expand the scope of local colleges.”
Dr. Richard Edward Swain of the Texas Education Association is the Commencement Speaker for LSU Fall Commencement Exercises.
The Laredo Chamber of Commerce sends a delegation to Austin to meet with State legislators on behalf of LSU. Chambers from across University System of South Texas campuses will urge the State’s top officials to provide adequate support for LSU, Texas A&I University at Kingsville and Corpus Christi State University.
Texas House members approve a $75 million constitutional fund for 17 smaller state university and state colleges, including LSU, that are not part of the state’s larger university systems, A&M and UT.
Julio F. Madrigal receives his Ed.D. from Texas Tech University and credits Dr. Billy F. Cowart for encouraging local people to pursue graduate degrees and careers in higher education.
Laredo members of the MENSA Society, people with IQs above 98 percent of the general population, include LSU faculty members May Ellen Bresie, LSU Library director, and Dr. David Roberts, a business faculty member.
LSU offers a first-ever summer college course on the history of Laredo, History 513, led by LSU’s Dr. Stanley Green.
Dr. Billy F. Cowart delivers the Commencement Address at LJC ceremonies.
The Laredo Council for the Arts and Borderfest receives $18,000 in grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Texas Commission on the Arts. The funds will help the third annual installment of Borderfest to continue to incorporate experienced folklorists in the three-day festivity.
The Laredo Times announces a 14-member Newspaper Advisory Board including Dr. Rex Ball of LSU and Dr. Crispin Sánchez of LJC.
“Alternative Films,” a local film society, is launched by LSU faculty members Rob Carlson and Dr. Norma E. Cantú. Five films are slated for free showing on campus and include Blood and Sand (’22) and Chulas Fronteras (’77).
LSU will seek a resolution from the University System of South Texas Board of Directors in support of a request from LJC to ask the Department of Education for a $1.3 M, three-percent loan to pay for building campus dormitories.
A profile on LSU professor Dr. Norma E. Cantú shares her passion for books…“Thank God for books! Books are like best friends for me, which is probably why I’m a literature professor.”
The Kiwanis Club names Dr. Rex Ball, LSU history professor as its “Civic Worker for the Year.” Ball observes, “We need more community service to help hold together those threads that bind us together as human beings.”
Dr. Lawrence K. Pettit is selected as the new Chancellor of the University System of South Texas, replacing Dr. Duane M. Leach who becomes President at the University of Texas, Permian Basin.
President Dr. Billy F. Cowart notes that the University enrolled 938 students, tripling its size since 1973 and has tripled degrees to 12 offered. Summer Commencement exercises graduate 100 students.
“Cat People” (’42) headlines the fall season of “Alternative Films,” organized by LSU faculty members Dr. Norma E. Cantú and Rob Carlson.
LSU receives an S&H Foundation $2,500 grant to sponsor a series of lectures known as “La Mujer: Then & Now,” featuring acclaimed writer Dr. Carmen Tafolla.
Laredoan Blas M. Martínez is appointed to the Board of the University System of South Texas by Gov. Mark White. He replaces Laredoan Bill Baker whose term has expired. Sue Killam also remains on the USST Board.
Dr. Quintin Vargas, LSU education and psychology coordinator, notes that a required screening test for all future teacher candidates for the skills areas of math, reading and writing, will eliminate 80% of Black and 60% of Hispanic teacher candidates. He advocates for a phased plan of skill requirements for minority teacher candidates.
Dr. Stanley Green, 23-year LSU faculty member, announces his candidacy for the 23rd Congressional District seat held by Abraham “Chick” Kazen.
New USST Chancellor Dr. Lawrence K. Pettit visits The Laredo Times and affirms that the likelihood of a new medical school in South Texas is not in the cards. He lauds LSU’s International Trade program and its potential for growth.
LSU employees proudly present a check for $2,595 representing their support for the United Way Campaign – a 25% increase from the previous year.
LSU professor Dr. Lem Londos Railsback authors Theatre in Laredo: 1982-83 to document the life of theatre here in an especially productive year.
After 15 years at the helm of the University, Dr. Billy F. Cowart announces his resignation to assume the position of provost at Western Oregon State College at Monmouth. Dean Leo Sayavedra is named interim president and a national search begins to replace the much-admired Cowart.
For the first time in its short history, Laredo State University enrolls 1000 students.
Lt. Governor Bill Hobby suggests a merger between Laredo Junior College and Laredo State University to create a “hybrid” four-year University in Laredo. Hobby’s final bill eliminated the word “merger” and instead encouraged statewide “partnerships” between public community colleges and upper-level universities that shared common campuses.
Dr. Pacheco passionately defends the University’s budget from cuts that would devastate the University, halving operations and eliminating the Institute for International Trade. The state’s recommended 26 percent cut, coupled with the ongoing peso devaluation was not good for higher education in South Texas, Pacheco testified. “Any decrease would be a step backwards. We need more programs, not fewer.” The final 1986-87 budget reflected a 5.7 percent reduction.
Fulbright Fellow, nationally recognized scholar in the field of linguistics and authority on bilingual education, Dr. Manuel Pacheco, is officially inaugurated as the second president of the University. Hailed as a “Man of Vision,” by Lt. Governor William Hobby, Pacheco had served as Dean under Cowart at the University from 1972-77.
Dr. Pacheco names Dr. Leo Sayavedra as Vice President for Academic Affairs; Dr. Rex Ball as Vice President for Administration and Joe García as Chief Fiscal Officer. All three would go on to have a lengthy history with the University and higher education in Texas and across the nation.
The Institute for International Trade, directed by Phillip Lane, establishes its first quarterly journal, edited by Professor Khosrow Fatemi. By 1990, it would see distribution to all regions of the US and 20 foreign countries.
The University’s budget woes continue. Texas’ tuition was increased for the first time since 1957 and saw a tripling of fees for non-resident students. As predicted, enrollment plunged 30 percent. Gov. Mark White, noting a continuing drop in oil revenues, asks universities to cut budgets. LSU cuts by 13 percent, freezes hires, and defers construction and renovation projects.
Dr. Pacheco encourages the creation of a Faculty Senate to provide faculty with a greater voice in school procedures and policies. An Alumni Association is reactivated, enrolling 70 new members led by first Association president, Miguel “Mike” Herrera, III.
News leaks that the Governor’s Select Committee on Higher Education is considering closing several universities and reducing Laredo State University to a branch studies center. Earlier that summer, the University’s Dr. Leo Sayavedra provides testimony in Austin noting that of Hispanics over the age of 25, only seven percent possessed a four-year degree, less than one-half that of the general population.
Several hundred Laredoans marshaled forces to challenge the Select Committee. Former US Congressman Abraham “Chick” Kazen stepped forward. Joaquin Cigarroa, Mayor Aldo Tatangelo and community and civic leaders joined him. Within 24 hours, a petition was underway and eventually signed by 11,000. State Representative-elect Henry Cuellar, himself an MBA graduate from LSU, also defended the University. Gubernatorial candidate Mark White vowed he would “fight to keep LSU here.” Impressed by the many Laredoans who actively lobbied their concern, the Committee recommended to the Legislature that LSU remain intact. Dr. Pacheco turns his attention to removing language in the University’s enabling legislation that still referred to it as a “Center.” It hung over “the head of the University like the sword of Damocles, ” he said.
New Senator Judith Zaffirini had set a priority on a bill to remove the threatening provision and a busload of Laredoans traveled to Austin for Senate Education Committee hearings on her SB 658. Eight days later, the bill passed through the Committee 10-0. Representative Cuellar took up the House legislation and in June Governor Bill Clements signed the Legislation.
The loss of Mexican students to the University as a result of the 1985 tuition hike is blunted with the Legislature’s passage of a bill allowing Mexican students to pay in-State tuition at select border universities like TAMIU.
Dr. Manuel Pacheco, the University’s second president, announces that he will be accepting a position as President of the University of Houston Downtown. In November, Dr. Rex Ball, Vice President for Administration and University Relations, announces his move to become VP for Development at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. Alan Sugg, University System of South Texas (USST) Chancellor, announces the appointment of Dr. Leo Sayavedra as the third President of Laredo State University. The Valley native had keen insight into the needs of South Texas and approached his new charge with characteristic optimism. A 14-member Legislative Joint Committee on Higher Education soon convened to “examine and assess all possibilities for improving higher education in South Texas.” Institutional and System mergers were to be considered.