(July 13, 2012) -- Former UTSA Police Chief Manuel Chavez died Wednesday, July 11 at age 81.
On April 20, 1973, Chavez was appointed by then UTSA President Peter T. Flawn as UTSA's first chief of police. When appointed, the UTSA Police Department consisted of one chief, one sergeant, three patrolmen and 10 uniformed guards. They provided security to the UTSA campus, the Lutcher Center in Terrell Hills and the Institute of Texan Cultures. At the time, there was no on-campus housing or a Downtown Campus. When Chavez retired in 1994, after serving for 21 years, there were nearly 30 police officers employed by the department and the student population had more than tripled.
Chavez also served for 17 years in the 1950s and 1960s as a patrolman and lieutenant of detectives at the Harlingen Police Department, then as chief of police at the Pharr Police Department. A graduate of the FBI National Academy, he was a member of the Texas Police Chiefs Association and served as president of the Harlingen Jaycees and Boys Club of Harlingen.
One of the few remaining UTSA Police Department employees who worked with Chavez is Captain Douglas Sonego, who said, “Virtually everyone at UTSA who knew and worked with Chief Chavez liked and respected him as a person and for his fairness and common-sense approach. Chief Chavez gave me my start in law enforcement and allowed me to learn as an officer and as a detective through hard knocks, which helped me to grow as an officer and as a person. I was very fortunate that he was my first chief."
A funeral service will be at 10 a.m., Saturday, July 14 at the Rudy Garza Funeral Home, 1702 E. Harrison St. in Harlingen. There will be a graveside service in San Antonio at 10 a.m., Monday, July 16 at Holy Cross Cemetery, 17501 Nacogdoches Road.
UTSA prides itself on giving students a well-rounded education. Combining a top-tier academic program with opportunities for personal growth prepares students to compete in a global economy. And that's not all. They learn to be informed and engaged citizens as well. At the heart of that academic program is an award-winning core curriculum.
For four consecutive years, UTSA has received an A-rating from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni for the caliber of its core curriculum. According to ACTA, UTSA requires its students to take six of the seven courses deemed "crucial" to a well-rounded education: composition, literature, U.S. government or history, economics, mathematics and science. Only a handful of other institutions in the U.S. are giving students these tools, which are needed to succeed in careers and the community.
Did you know? UTSA is one of only three Texas institutions and 23 in the United States to receive the highest rating for its core curriculum in the 2014-2015 edition of the ACTA's "What Will They Learn?" report.
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