Alumni Hall of Fame

El Centro Chicano's Hall of Fame recognizes alumni who have distinguished themselves through exceptional advancement and success in education or career, and/or outstanding contributions to our community and society in general. IN 1995, EL CENTRO CHICANO established the Alumni Hall of Fame. The hall is part of a campus-wide effort initiated by each of Stanford's four ethnic community centers at the suggestion of trustee member, Charles Ogletree, as a means to highlight the contributions of the university's many outstanding alumni of color. El Centro Chicano's Hall of Fame recognizes alumni who have distinguished themselves through exceptional advancement and success in education or career, and/or outstanding contributions to our community and society in general. Selections to the Hall of Fame are based upon nominations by Stanford alumni, staff, faculty, and students and are made by a committee composed of two National Chicano/Latino Alumni Association representatives, two representatives of El Guiding Concilio (El Centro's advisory board), and a member of El Centro Chicano's staff. Inductees to El Centro Chicano's Alumni Hall of Fame are honored at a reception during reunion homecoming weekend along with those recognized by the American Indian, Alaska Native & Native Hawaiian Program, Asian American Activities Center, and Black Community Services Center. The pictures and biographies of Hall of Fame members are displayed at El Centro Chicano and serve to motivate and inspire future generations of Chicano/Latino students.


Alumni Hall of Fame Members (partial listing)


Luis Nogales J.D. 1969

Luis Nogales was a co-founder of MEChA both at Stanford and in the nation. He became Stanford’s first Assistant to the President for Mexican American Affairs one day after graduating from the Stanford Law School in 1969. As a student leader and member of the President’s senior staff, he was instrumental in institutionalizing the enrollment and participation of Latino students, faculty and staff at Stanford. He left Stanford when he was selected a White House Fellow; he continued his involvement with the University by serving on the visiting committees of the Law School, the Libraries, and the Haas Center for Public Service, which he chaired. Later he became the first Latino member of the Stanford University Board of Trustees. Although, he was often the first Latino to hold a position, his motto has been to neither be the only, nor the last. Mr. Nogales has had a full and active career in the private sector and public service. He served as CEO of United Press International and President of Univision, among senior operating positions; in addition, he has served on the board of directors Levi Strauss & Company, The Bank of California, Lucky Stores, Golden West Broadcasters, Arbitron, K-B Home, Coors, and Kaufman & Broad, S.A. France. He also served as Senior Advisor to the Latin America Private Equity Group of Deutsche Bank working in Brazil, Argentina and Mexico. On corporate boards he has been an advocate for diversity of the workforce and senior management. While assuming leadership positions in the private sector, Mr. Nogales continued participating in public service by serving, among other activities, as a Trustee of the Ford Foundation, The Getty Trust, The Mayo Clinic Trust, and Stanford University. He also served on the board of directors of the Inter American Foundation, The Inter American Dialogue, The Pacific Council on Foreign Policy and The Mexican and American Legal Defense Fund, (MALDEF) where he served as president of the Board. He was co-founder of the Los Angeles Chicano City Commissioners Caucus when he served as City Commissioner. He was also a founding member of the California Commission on Higher Education and was appointed by President Clinton to the Commission on Federal Capital Investment. He was founding chairman of the California Channel. In 2001, Luis Nogales and his wife, Rosita, donated $1 million to MALDEF to defend the rights of immigrants. In that same year, Mr. Nogales established a scholarship endowment at San Diego State University where he attended as an undergraduate. Currently, Mr. Nogales is founder and managing partner of Nogales Investors, a private equity investment firm with offices in Los Angeles and New York. He continues to be active in politics, social mobility reform, and corporate governance. Mr. Nogales grew up in the agricultural valleys of California, based in Calexico, working as a farm worker.


Jim Plunkett A.B., 1971

The "golden arm" from the Golden State, Jim Plunkett began his football career in high school in San Jose, California, set new records in college football, and completed a stellar 17-season Pro-Football career. Along the way, he garnered a Heisman Trophy, the Maxwell Award, an NFL Rookie of the Year Award, a Super Bowl MVP Award and two Super Bowl championship rings. Born in San Jose, California on December 5, 1947, Jim Plunkett attended San Jose schools until his enrollment at Stanford University in September of 1966. In the three seasons with Stanford, his total offensive records included most pass attempts, 962; most pass completions, 530; most net yards passing, 7,544; most touchdown passes, 52; most plays total offense, 1,174; and most yards total offense, 7,887. His net yards passing and most yards total offense are NCAA records. When he connected for 22 of 36 passes for 268 yards against Washington, he broke the career passing mark of 7,076 yards held by Steve Ramsey of North Carolina. In his last college football game, Plunkett directed Stanford to a 27-17 upset victory over Ohio State in the 1971 Rose Bowl. Jim was named the Rose Bowl's most valuable player. In addition to his athletic prowess, Plunkett earned his A.B. degree in Political Science at Stanford University in 1971. It was during his undergraduate years that Jim, who is of Mexican descent, opened the eyes of many working class Chicanos to the possibility of a Stanford education. He inspired, instilled confidence, and provided the drive for youth to set high academic and leadership standards in preparation for a college education. Jim Plunkett began his pro-football career as the first selection in the 1971 NFL draft. As quarterback of the New England Patriots, he compiled a brilliant freshman record as starting quarterback passing for 2,158 yards and winning Rookie of the Year honors. He was traded in 1976 to the '49ers and in 1980 went with the Oakland Raiders. In 16 NFL seasons, Jim completed 1,943 passes for 25,882 yards, 164 touchdowns and a 52.2% completion rate. He ranks 20th all-time in the NFL with 3,701 passing attempts. In the Raiders Super Bowl XV victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, Jim was voted the game's MVP, passing for 261 yards and three touchdowns, including an 80-yard touchdown pass to Kenny King. In his two Super Bowl appearances, Jim threw no interceptions, a Super Bowl record. In 1980, Jim was voted Comeback Player in the NFL while guiding the Raiders to wins in 13 of their final 15 games, including four playoff games and a Super Bowl victory. Jim Plunkett retired after a spectacular 17-season Pro-Football career. He is extremely active at Stanford University where he has raised scholarship funds through his golf tournament for the past 25 years for the Stanford Women's Golf team, Women's Volleyball team, and the Stanford Football team. He is also an avid supporter of the Peninsula Center for the Blind. Jim and his wife, Gerry, have two children, Jim Jr. (20) and Meghan (18).


Félix F. Gutiérrez A.M., '72; Ph.D., '76

A native of East Los Angeles, Dr. Félix Gutiérrez earned a master's degree in 1972 and a Ph.D. in 1976 in the Department of Communication at Stanford University. He is a Visiting Professor of Journalism at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California and former Senior Vice President for the Freedom Forum and Newseum in Arlington, VA. Scholar. Dr. Gutiérrez' scholarship and publications have focused on racial diversity and the media. He is the author or co-author of four books and more than 50 scholarly articles or book chapters, most on racial diversity or technological change in the media. His co-authored book, Race, Multiculturalism and the Media: From Mass to Class Communication was awarded the 1996 Gustavus Myers Award as Outstanding Book on Human Rights in North America. Educator. The son of two 1930s Chicano college student activists who became schoolteachers in East Los Angeles, Dr. Félix Gutiérrez earned a bachelor's degree in social studies in 1965, a secondary teaching credential in 1966 from California State College Los Angeles and a master's degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in 1967. Unable to find a teaching or journalism position, he took an administrative position at Cal State LA. In 1969, he became Stanford's third Chicano administrator when named Assistant Dean of Students as the university prepared to enroll its largest group of Chicano students. He quickly became a role model, leader, friend, and inspiration to students. As a graduate student from 1970 to 1974 he wrote the proposal for the Chicano Fellows program. In 1974 Dr. Félix Gutiérrez became an assistant professor of journalism at California State University Northridge. In 1979, he joined the faculty of the University of Southern California School of Journalism. In 1989, he was named dean of student academic services and special programs, reportedly the highest position ever held by a Latino at USC, and served in that position until joining the Gannett Foundation in 1990. Advocate. Disappointed by his own failure to find newsroom work in the 1960s, Dr. Gutiérrez has focused his advocacy on recognizing the communication traditions of all races and opening doors for all to the nation's newsrooms. From 1978 through 1980 he was the first executive director of the California Chicano News Media Association. After working in the early 1990s in the Washington, D.C. area as vice president of The Freedom Forum's predecessor organization, The Gannett Foundation, he returned to Northern California in 1993 as executive director of the new Freedom Forum Pacific Coast Center and directed that center's education, professional and public programs through 2000. In 2001 Dr. Gutiérrez was Senior Vice President of the Newseum, The Freedom Forum's interactive museum of news. Felix is married to Dr. María Elena Gutierrez, an educational researcher and Stanford's first Chicana administrator. They have three daughters: Elena, Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago; Anita, former Associate Publisher of City Limits magazine in New York City, and Alicia, Stanford JD and MBA '02, Consultant with the Boston Consulting Group in New York City.


Yvonne Aida Maldonado M.D., 1981

Born in Los Angeles, California, Dr. Yvonne A. Maldonado received her MD at Stanford University in 1981. She completed a pediatric residency in 1984 and a pediatric infectious diseases fellowship at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1986. Subsequently, Dr. Maldonado spent two years as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer at the Centers for Disease Control. In 1988, Dr. Maldonado joined the Department of Pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine where she is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics. She was Board certified in Pediatrics in 1988, and has been a member of the American Board of Pediatrics since 1988. Professor Maldonado has published a number of research articles and reviews relevant to many aspects of pediatric infectious diseases. She has served on the Pediatrics Review and Education Program (PREP) Committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics as the Infectious Diseases expert on that Committee and on the National Vaccine Advisory Committee. Dr. Maldonado also founded and directs the Stanford Infectious Diseases and Immunology Center, a d-iagnostic and treatment outpatient clinic for children with acquired or congenital immunodeficiencies. She was the Stanford site principal investigator for the Northern California Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group from 1988„1994 and is currently the principal investigator for the NIH-funded HIVNET/HPTN HIV clinical trials site in Zimbabwe. Dr. MaldonadoÍs research has focused on the epidemiology of perinatal HIV infection, and the molecular epidemiology of immune responses to viral vaccines in children, including an oral poliovirus vaccine immunogenicity study which she conducted among Mayan populations in the rural highlands of Chiapas, Mexico. She is currently working on perinatal HIV prevention clinical trials in Zimbabwe, the molecular mechanisms of neuroreversion of poliovirus vaccine and the ontogeny of T and B cell immune responses to measles vaccine in young infants.


Rachel F. Moran A.B. 1978

Rachel F. Moran was born in Kansas City, Missouri and subsequently lived in Kansas City, Kansas; Calexico, California; and Yuma, Arizona. She attended public schools in Yuma from the fifth grade through the end of high school. In 1976, Ms. Moran received her A.B. in Psychology with Honors and with Distinction from Stanford University where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa her junior year. She obtained her J.D. from Yale Law School where she was an Editor of the Yale Law Journal, Runner-up in the Harlan Fiske Stone Moot Court Prize Competition, and Teaching Assistant to the Associate Dean. Rachel F. Moran is now the Robert D. and Leslie-Kay Raven Professor of Law at the University of California School of Law (Boalt Hall). At Boalt, she teaches Torts, Education and the Law, and Bilingualism and the Law. From 1993-96, she served as Chair of the Chicano/Latino Policy Project at the Institute for the Study of Social Change. In 1995, she received a Distinguished Teaching Award from the Berkeley campus. She has published and lectured extensively in the areas of affirmative action, desegregation, and bilingual education. Professor Moran has recently finished a book on interracial intimacy and is co-authoring a casebook on educational law and policy. She has been a Visiting Professor at UCLA School of Law, Stanford Law School, New York University School of Law, the University of Miami School of Law, and the University of Texas Law School.


José R. Padilla A.B., 1974

Born in Brawley, California, a small rural community in Imperial County, José R. Padilla graduated from Stanford University in 1974 with an A.B. in Psychology. In 1978, he was awarded a Juris Doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law. Mr. Padilla was admitted to the California State Bar in 1979, and is a current member of the American Bar Association. The central theme guiding Mr. Padilla's life, both professionally and personally, is the principle of community service and contribution. He has spent his entire legal career, which now spans some 22 years, as a poverty rights lawyer for California's low income rural communities. José started his legal career immediately after graduating from Boalt as a staff attorney for California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA) Inc. in its El Centro Office located in the Imperial Valley. He later became Directing Attorney of that office. In 1984, José was appointed Executive Director of CRLA and continues to serve in that capacity. CRLA is viewed as one of the premier legal aid programs in the country. As its Executive Director, José is charged with the administration of a $7 million state-wide law firm that provides a 40 attorney work force, serving the rural poor in 23 California counties. CRLA's legal work emphasizes the defense of the rural farm worker community in cases involving pesticide exposure, housing, labor, education, civil rights, immigration and environmental justice. As Director he has ensured that the rural poor have a voice in the state legislature on issues related to labor, immigration, housing and education. Before becoming CRLA Director, as a legal aid lawyer practicing poverty law in rural California, José helped develop a community-based low-income credit union, a bilingual community radio station and an immigration center to assist Central American refugees in political asylum matters. He also co-drafted the state's Migrant Education Law. He has testified before a number of government commissions on bilingual education; Latino and other minority voting rights; race and poverty; and restricted legal aid. Mr. Padilla serves on a number of national boards including the Poverty & Race Research Action Council (Washington, D.C.), the National Legal Aid & Defender Association, the Pesticide Education Center Inc. (San Francisco), and the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford. In 1992, José was the recipient of the California La Raza Lawyers Association's Cruz Reynoso Community Service Award. In 1994, he received the Unity Award from the San Francisco La Raza Lawyers Association and the Minority Bar Coalition. José and his wife, Deborah Escobedo, have been married for twenty years. Deborah is an education rights attorney for Multicultural Education Training & Advocacy (META) Inc.


Xavier Becerra A.B., 1980; J.D., 1984

Born in Sacramento, California, in 1958, Congressman Xavier Becerra graduated from Stanford University in 1980 with an A.B. in Economics. In 1984, he earned a Juris Doctorate from Stanford's School of Law. Congressman Xavier Becerra has represented California's 30th Congressional District since 1992. He currently serves on the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Subcommittee on Trade. As a member of Congress, Representative Becerra has championed the rights of the disadvantaged through advocacy and legislation. He works tirelessly to defend the interests of his constituents and residents of the greater Los Angeles area. Prior to his election to Congress in 1992, Representative Becerra served one term in the California Legislature as the representative of the 59th Assembly District in Los Angeles County. He is a former Deputy Attorney General with the California Department of Justice. Currently, Representative Becerra serves on the following Boards: Los Angeles Annenberg Metropolitan Project (LAAMP), Pitzer College, Close Up Foundation, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), and National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO). Representative Becerra is married to Dr. Carolina Reyes, a Stanford alumnus, and currently a Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and a Senior Scholar with the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research. The couple has three daughters, Clarisa, Olivia and Natalia.


María Echaveste A.B. 1976

Maria Echaveste was born in Texas, but grew up in the central and coastal valleys of California. In 1976, she received an A.B. in anthropology from Stanford University, and in 1980, a Juris Doctor from the University of California at Berkeley. On May 29, 1998, Maria Echaveste was named Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff. As Deputy Chief of Staff, she manages policy initiatives, develops legislative and communications strategies for the White House, and coordinates the selection of senior Administration appointments. Prior to her current duties she held the post of Assistant to the President and Director for Public Liaison from February 7, 1997. Ms. Echaveste previously served as Administrator of the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division, from June of 1993 to early 1997. She was responsible for the management and policy direction of programs related to a variety of Federal laws, including minimum wage and overtime, child labor and family and medical leave. In her role as Administrator, she worked extensively on the Department of Labor's anti-sweatshop initiative. The effort, entitled "No Sweat," received a 1996 Innovations in Government award, sponsored by Harvard University Kennedy School of Government and the Ford Foundation. Before joining the Department of Labor, Ms. Echaveste was deputy director of personnel during the Clinton 1993 transition and was the national Latino coordinator for the President's 1992 campaign.


Professor Arturo Islas A.B. 1960; A.M. 1965; Ph.D. 1971

Born in El Paso, Texas, on May 24, 1938, Dr. Arturo Islas entered Stanford in 1956 as an undergraduate. He earned his A.B. degree in 1960, an A.M. in 1965, and a Ph.D. in 1971, becoming the first Chicano in the United States to earn a doctoral degree in English. Professor Islas taught at Stanford for 20 years until his death on February 15, 1991. His contributions to undergraduates, the Chicano/Latino community, intellectual discourse, and society in general are vast. In 1976, he became Stanford's first tenured Chicano faculty member. This same year, he was honored with the Dinkelspiel Award for Outstanding Service to Undergraduate Education, an award he earned many more times. Professor Islas was an active member of the Chicano/Latino community and advocate for students. He helped shape many of the support systems that were fundamental to students, such as the Chicano Fellows Program and the Stanford Center for Chicano Research of which he was Co-Director. He also taught courses that addressed the needs and interests of Chicano students, such as Chicano Literature, and Creative Writing for Bilingual Students. His courses on American Literature were very popular as well. His course on Hemingway and Fitzgerald enrolled over 300 students. Through his prize-winning novels, The Rain God (1984) and Migrant Souls (1990), and La Mollie and the King of Tears (1996, published posthumously), Professor Arturo Islas continues to share with us the uniqueness of the Mexican-American border culture and the richness of life.


Ellen Ochoa M.S., 1981; Ph.D., 1985

Inducted into the Hall of Fame on October 9, 1998. Born in Los Angeles, California on May 10, 1958, Dr. Ellen Ochoa received her Master of Science degree and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, 1981 and 1985, respectively. Dr. Ochoa is the first Latina astronaut and is currently in the space program at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). She became an astronaut in July 1991 and completed her first space flight in April 1993. During the nine days aboard the space shuttle Discovery, the crew studied solar radiation activity on the Earth's climate and environment. Before joining the space program, Dr. Ochoa investigated optical systems for performing information processing. She now claims three patents in optical processing. In addition to her scientific accomplishments, Dr. Ochoa feels it is important to contribute to the community. She shares her experiences about space travel with school children throughout the country. Dr. Ochoa is also a classical flutist, a private pilot, and enjoys attending plays or hiking with her husband, Coe Fulmer Miles.


Ernesto Galarza A.M. 1929

Inducted into the Hall of Fame on October 9, 1998. Born in Jalcocotán, Nayarit, Mexico, on August 15, 1905, Dr. Ernesto Galarza came to the United States when he was 8 years old. In 1929 he received a Master's degree in Latin American History from Stanford University. After his graduation, he married Mae Taylor. Dr. Galarza received his Ph.D. in History from Columbia University in 1944. Dr. Galarza was known as an activist, scholar, and organizer. As a youth, Dr. Galarza worked as a farm laborer in Sacramento. He later dedicated his life to the struggle for justice for farm workers, the urban working-class Latinos, and to changing existing educational philosophy and curricula in the schools. During the 1950's, Dr. Galarza helped build the first multiracial farmworker union which set the foundation for the emergence of the United Farm Workers Union. In 1979, Dr. Galarza was the first U.S. Latino to be nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature. He is best known for his books on farm workers and agribusiness in California. His works include: Strangers in our Fields (1956), Merchants of Labor (1964), Spiders in the House and Workers in the Fields (1970), Barrio Boy (1971), Farm Workers and Agribusiness in California (1977), and Tragedy at Chualar (1977).


Dr. Francisco Bravo M.D., 1936

Inducted into the Hall of Fame on September 26, 1997 and born in Ventura, California, on April 2, 1910, Dr. Francisco Bravo received his M.D. degree from Stanford University's School of Medicine in June 1936. During his lifetime, Dr. Bravo achieved recognition not only as a surgeon, pharmaceutical chemist, and civic and business leader, but also as a ceaseless fighter for the education of Mexican American students. He established the Bravo Clinic in the Boyle Heights section of East Los Angeles and served as family physician to innumerable Chicano/Latino families, tending to their illnesses, performing needed surgeries, and delivering their newborn babies. Dr. Bravo also established a scholarship fund to help Chicanos complete their medical school education. Dr. Francisco Bravo served in the Pacific during World War II. At home he served as the first Chicano on the Police Commission for the City of Los Angeles. He helped found and served as president of the Pan American National Bank located in East Los Angeles. Dr. Bravo died on May 3, 1990 after which the Los Angeles Unified School District named the Francisco Bravo, M.D., Medical Magnet High School after him in honor of his contributions to the community.


Professor Emeritus, Aurelio Espinosa A.B., 1927; M.A., 1928

Inducted into the Hall of Fame on October 13, 1995. Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, May 3, 1907, Professor Espinosa has devoted his lifetime to educational activities. He earned his A.B. and M.A. degrees at Stanford University in 1927 and 1928, respectively and his doctorate in 1932 at the University of Madrid. In addition to teaching at Harvard University and the U.S. Military Academy, Professor Espinosa was the Executive Head of the Department of Modern European Languages (later the Department of Spanish and Portuguese) at Stanford from 1955-1972. He became Emeritus Professor of Spanish and Portuguese in 1972. The author of numerous studies in Hispanic linguistics and folk literature, he has also published, as author or co-author, several widely-used textbooks for the teaching of Spanish. He is a member of Academia Norteamericana de la Lengua Española and of the Order of Alfonso X el Sabio, and a Corresponding Member of the Real Academia Española and the Hispanic Society of America.


Margarita Espinosa A.B., 1927; M.A., 1928

Inducted into the Hall of Fame on October 11, 1996. Born on March 11, 1906 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Margarita Espinosa enrolled as a transfer student at Stanford University in 1924. She graduated with an A.B. in English in 1927 and M.A. in Spanish in 1928. Upon graduation, Margarita was immediately hired by Castilleja School to teach Spanish. While teaching at Castilleja, she served on the board of the Peninsula Center for the Blind. In 1940 she was named Assistant Principal of Castilleja School and then Principal in 1941. She served as principal for thirty years and was the driving force behind the successful economic survival of the school and its tradition of educational excellence for young women. Margarita Espinosa retired in 1971 and joined the Peace Corps. She was sent to South Korea, where she was a professor at Ewha University, the largest women's university in Asia. After two years, she returned to her home in Palo Alto. In 1994, Margarita received the Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Senior Center in Palo Alto where she currently resides.


Helen Gertrude Dominguez A.B., 1920

Inducted into the Hall of Fame on October 11, 1996. Born in Los Angeles, CA, December 17, 1898, Helen Gertrude Dominguez is the first Chicana/Mexicana to graduate from Stanford. Ms. Dominguez began her Stanford career as a transfer student from Occidental College in September 1918. She was a member of the Gamma Phi Beta Sorority and graduated with an A.B. in English on June 21, 1920. She married William John Hall on March 26, 1924. Before retiring, Helen worked for the school system in Pasadena, California. She died on May 2, 1987, leaving no known living relatives.