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The Gift of History

Armando Rodriguez, an SDSU alumnus and accomplished veteran, educator and statesman, was recognized at a reception held in his honor on May 10.
Rodriguez shakes hands with Shirley Weber, former chair of the Africana Studies Department and San Diego Assemblymember.
Rodriguez shakes hands with Shirley Weber, former chair of the Africana Studies Department and San Diego Assemblymember.

Armando Rodriguez, a graduate of San Diego State University's class of '49, recently donated photographs, ephemera and oral history that documents his broad reaching career to the Library's Special Collections and University Archives.

Rodriguez, a former member of the U.S. Army’s Signal Corps, an educator, a civil rights activist and a statesman, was honored at a reception held by the Library and the Chicano/a Studies Archive Committee.

At the reception, San Diego’s mayor, Bob Filner honored Rodriguez, proclaiming “Armando Rodriguez Day” in the city of San Diego.

Assemblymember Shirley Weber presented a certificate of achievement from the California Assembly to Rodriguez.

SDSU President Elliot Hirshman challenged the audience to give more to this important collection and promised a matching gift for donations to the archive.

About Rodriguez

Rodriguez entered San Diego State College on the G.I. Bill and immediately earned a name for himself as a varsity running guard on the Aztec Football team and coach of the wrestling team. 

After graduation, Rodriguez taught at Memorial Junior High School and later became San Diego’s first Hispanic principal of a junior and senior high school.

He later became president of East Los Angeles College, leaving the post in 1978 to accept an appointment from President Jimmy Carter as Commissioner of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Rodriguez has documented his experiences in a biography, “From the Barrio to Washington: An Educator's Journey.”

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