• January 21, 2020

GOOD NEWS: Sul Ross supporter, community leader receives honorary degree - Odessa American: Good News

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GOOD NEWS: Sul Ross supporter, community leader receives honorary degree

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Posted: Sunday, January 5, 2020 3:00 am

ALPINE Longtime friend of Sul Ross State University and Alpine community leader Elena Pena Gallego received an Honorary Bachelor of Arts Degree during the fall commencement Dec. 13.

Gallego is well known as a servant-leader and instilled a sense of purpose and service to her children, her community and Sul Ross students.

She met her husband-to-be, the late Pete A. Gallego, on the steps of Lawrence Hall as a student.

As with many Mexican-American women at that time, Gallego made the decision to forgo her pursuit of a college education in order to provide a positive influence for her children and support their family business.

Meanwhile Pete graduated from Sul Ross and was the first person in his family to earn a college degree. Pete Gallego later served as a school board member and was well known for leading the fight for integration. He later became the first Latino to own commercial property in Alpine and established a business on the north side of the railroad tracks in an area that was segregated as Anglos only.

The Gallegos served the Alpine community through their local businesses including the Green Cafe which later became Gallegos Mexican Food. The Green Cafe also served as a venue for community meetings where residents were mobilized in their effort in fighting for civil rights.

Pete and Elena also spearheaded the creation of the Alpine Community Credit Union.

Daughter Imelda Gallego Garcia earned a law degree from the University of Houston and continued the servant values she learned by providing pro bono legal advice to residents in El Paso.

Daughter Rebecca Gallego received a medical degree from the University of Minnesota and has also invested in the El Paso community.

Son Pete P. Gallego received a law degree from the University of Texas at Austin and went on to serve the citizens of Texas in the State House of Representatives and later as a United States Congressman.

Odessa, TX

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