Tomás Rivera Archive

Tomas Rivera was born on December 22, 1935 in Crystal City, Texas. Rising from humble beginnings as the son of Mexican migrant farm workers, Rivera went to Southwest Texas State University, where he received his B.S. in English Education in 1958. He then taught English and Spanish in high school in San Antonio, Crystal City, and League City.
Aiming higher, he returned to Southwest Texas State to get a Master's in Education in 1964 and then, in 1969, he received a Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma in Romance Literatures. From teaching he moved to administration. He began as an Associate Professor of Spanish at Sam Houston State University in 1969; he moved to the University of Texas in San Antonio in 1971 to be a professor of Spanish and Directory of Foreign Languages. Five year later he was Vice President for Administration there, a post he held for two years, at which time he moved to the University of Texas at El Paso to be its Executive Vice President. In 1979, Rivera became Chancellor at UCR, where he served until his untimely death on March 16, 1984. He was survived by his wife, Concepcion; daughters Ileana, Irasema; son, Javier.
With diligence and intelligence Rivera overcame the great handicap of his youthful poverty and rose to success through academic achievement. He was a strong proponent of education, as his career in the academic work indicates. He was also a writer and a poet of some note. Writing about the life of migrant workers.
The University of California, Riverside library, which house social science and humanities, was renamed in his honor. It is in the Tomas Rivera Library that the archive is housed and it is administered by Special Collections & University Archives. For more information please contact Special Collections & University Archives at  
Written by Armando M. Martinez, edited by Clifford R. Wurfel