Domingo Arechiga

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Domingo Arechiga Jr.
Domingo Arechita of Laredo, TX.jpg
Born(1926-12-14)December 14, 1926
DiedFebruary 26, 1987(1987-02-26) (aged 60)
Resting placeCalvary Catholic Cemetery in Laredo
ResidenceLaredo, Texas
Alma materMartin High School (Laredo)
St. Edward's University
OccupationHigher education administrator
President, Laredo Junior College (1974–1985)
Spouse(s)Emma Garza Arechiga
Parent(s)Domingo Sr., and Elvira Elizondo Arechiga

Domingo Arechiga Jr. (December 14, 1926 – February 26, 1987),[1][2] was an Hispanic educator who from 1974 to 1985 was the president of Laredo Community College, then Laredo Junior College in Laredo, Texas.


Arechiga was the third of four children of Domingo Sr., and Elvira Elizondo Arechiga (1895–1973), both natives of Mexico.[3][4][5] He graduated in 1945 from Martin High School in Laredo,[6] at which he played football and basketball and ran track. His classmates called him "Mingo". Arechiga spoke at the time of joining the United States Navy as World War II was winding down.[7]

He studied thereafter at the Roman Catholic St. Edward's University in the capital city of Austin, Texas, from which he graduated in 1950. He received the St. Edward's Alumni Achievement Award ten years later in 1960.[8] He held the degrees of Bachelor of Philosophy, Master of Science,[9] and Ph.D., granting institutions unavailable.


Prior to his eleven-year presidency at LCC, Arechiga had been the dean of the institution. In that capacity, he named Crispin Sanchez to dual positions of dean of student services and the college athletic director, with oversight over the creation of basketball (since disbanded) and baseball teams.[10] The LCC Palominos basketball team, while it lasted, was highly successful, particularly in matches against arch-rival San Jacinto College of Pasadena, Texas. It also reached No. 1 nationally in 1983 with a 20-1 season. The teams were popular within the community, particularly among young people, and even with out-of-town visitors. The players were promised an academic education along with their sports success. Arechiga referred to the team's success as "a beautiful thing, it's very meaningful. It's what Laredo represents. It's a blending of two cultures."[11] Under part of Arechiga's time as president, the basketball coach, athletic director, and head of the physical education department was Russell David "Dave" Segler (1929–2007), who was on the faculty from 1972 to 1981. Segler was an inductee of the Gateway to Mexico All Sports Hall of Fame.[12]

Before he was LCC president, Arechiga had been vice president of his institution. He worked in articulation, the process of bridging the transition of high school graduates into higher education and accepting transfer credits from other institutions.[13] In 1964, a master plan was devised to accommodate a college of at least 1,500 students. The enrollment was nearly four thousand students by the time that Arechiga succeeded Ray A. Laird as president.[14] In 1977, Arechiga hired the University of Texas at San Antonio to conduct an archeological survey of the campus to determine what historical artifacts if any would be damaged by construction of athletic fields near the Rio Grande. No prehistoric occupation of the campus lands was found in the survey. None of the artifacts uncovered pre-date 1860.[15]

Arechiga was a charter member of the Texas Community Colleges Instrutional Administrators[16] and the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education.[17] He is included as a "Leader of Color in Higher Education" in a book of that same name by Leonard A. Valverde.[18] He was active too in the Border College Consortium encompassing six community colleges along the Mexican border.[19]

In 1978, Arechiga co-authored with Vernon M. Briggs Jr., Thomas Deliganis, and Hiram Goad The Feasibility of Bilingual Vocational Training Through the Border College Consortium Approach.[20]

Family and legacy[edit]

Arechiga married the former Emma Garza (May 21, 1926 – February 25, 2016), one of five children of José and Sofia Garza. Emma worked for sixty-four years for Horace Hall Jr., former attorney for the Laredo Community College trustees, and the Hall law firm. She was a member of the Laredo Women's Hall of Fame, worked with her husband in fundraising for the college, and was active in the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Laredo.[21]

Their son, Father Dennis Domingo Arechiga (born 1963), is a graduate of J. W. Nixon High School in Laredo and Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana, and a Roman Catholic pastor in San Antonio, Texas,[22] at St. Matthew's Church.[23] Mrs. Arechiga spent her last years in San Antonio. The two other Arechiga children are Jo Emma Arechiga (born 1960) of Corpus Christi, and Alberto David Arechiga (born 1969) of Austin.[21][24]

Arechiga had two sisters, Elvira A. Guerra (1923–2004) and Maria Laura Arechiga (1930–2006), and a brother, Manuel J. Arechiga Sr. (1924–2007), who worked in the automotive industry in Laredo and then the petroleum business in San Antonio.[25] An Arechiga nephew, Manuel Arechiga Jr. (born 1959), manages the family petroleum industry and was a 2010 candidate for the Laredo City Council.[26] Another nephew, Luis G. Guerra Jr. (1951–2006), reared in Zapata, Texas, was a president of the Laredo Chamber of Commerce, the 2005 "Businessperson of the Year", and the visionary of the Laredo Miracle Field for handicapped children playing baseball.[27] One of Arechiga's nieces, Norma A. Belshaw, is married to San Antonio real estate agent Ronald William Belshaw. Their son and Arechiga's great-nephew, Jeffrey Todd Belshaw (born 1971), is also in the real estate business in San Antonio.[28][29]

Arechiga gravestone at Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Laredo, Texas
Domingo Arechiga Hall on the Laredo Community College campus

Arechiga died at the age of sixty and is interred in Laredo at Calvary Catholic Cemetery. Arechiga Hall, the former Fort McIntosh enlisted men's barracks on the LCC campus remodeled into offices, is named for Arechigar.[30] So is the Domingo Arechiga Scholarship in the amount of $1,200 annually. The scholarship is awarded to a high school student in the top 5 percent of the class who is entering LCC as a freshman.[31]


  1. ^ "Domingo Arechiga Death Records". Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  2. ^ Calvary Catholic Cemetery, Laredo, Texas
  3. ^ "Elvira E. Arechiga". Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  4. ^ "Domingo Arechiga (Sr.) in the 1940 Census". Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  5. ^ "Arechiga". Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  6. ^ "Class of 1945". Martin High School La Pitahaya yearbook. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  7. ^ "Domingo Arechiga". Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  8. ^ "Alumni Award Honorees" (PDF). Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  9. ^ "Officers of Administration" (PDF). Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  10. ^ "Sanchez carried LJC athletics on his shoulders", Laredo Morning Times, March 19, 2008
  11. ^ John Garrity (February 7, 1983). "The Rage on the Rio Grande: Show Time! at top-ranked Laredo JC means lights-out for the opposition". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  12. ^ "Russell David "Dave" Segler". Laredo Morning Times. April 20, 2007.
  13. ^ Quentin Bogart (May 1972). "Proceedings: The Community College Conference" (PDF). Arizona State University at Tempe: p. 21. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  14. ^ "Laredo Community College". Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  15. ^ James E. Ivey (1977). "Introduction" (PDF). Center for Archeological Research at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  16. ^ "A Brief History of the Association". Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  17. ^ José Ángel Gutiérrez and Natalia V. Gutierrez (2013). The Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education. Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing Company. p. 36. OCLC 24321988. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  18. ^ Leonard A. Valverde (2003). "Leaders of Color in Higher Education: Unrecognized Triumphs in Harsh Institutions". Walnut Creek, California: AltaMira Publishers. p. xxv. ISBN 0-7591-0542-1. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  19. ^ Laura I. Rendon (1983). "Mathematics Education for Hispanic Students in the Border College Consortium" (PDF). Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  20. ^ "List of Professor Briggs' Books and Monographs". January 2008. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  21. ^ a b "Obituary and life tribute of Mrs. Emma G. Arechiga, mother of Fr. Dennis, Jo Emma and Alberto Arechiga". Laredo Morning Times. Retrieved February 27, 2016.
  22. ^ "Honored and A Special Occasion" (PDF). Laredo Morning Times. June 18, 2000. p. 6-C. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  23. ^ "Welcome to St. Matthew". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  24. ^ "Jo Emma Arechiga". Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  25. ^ "Manuel Arechiga, Sr" (PDF). Laredo Morning Times. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  26. ^ "Manuel Arechiga for City Council District 6". September 13, 2010. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  27. ^ "Luis Gonzalo Guerra, Jr" (PDF). Laredo Morning Times. November 27, 2006. p. 11-A. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  28. ^ "Jeffrey Todd Belshaw". Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  29. ^ "Ronald W. Belshaw". Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  30. ^ "Historic Fort McIntosh Campus". Laredo Community College. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  31. ^ "LCC Dr. Domingo Arechiga Scholarship". Retrieved August 10, 2015.
Preceded by
Ray A. Laird
President of Laredo Community College
in Laredo, Texas

Domingo Arechiga Jr.

Succeeded by
Roger L. Worsley