Being the offspring of migrant parents, Mr. Rangel grew up wherever there was cotton to be picked or crops to harvest. In the mid-1940s, his family settled in Lubbock. Believing strongly that freedom is not free and there is a price to keep it, he joined the Marine Corps and served a tour of duty in Vietnam serving with the First Marine Division.
He enrolled at Texas Tech University. From the outset, he noticed that very few Chicanos were enrolled there. Determined to encourage more Chicanos to attend higher education, he began work in the Office of Admissions at Texas Tech in 1973. During the next 33 years, he did everything he could to encourage all students, particularly Chicanos, to pursue education beyond high school. When he retired, there were about 5,000 Chicanos enrolled compared to 100 when he began his career there.
He served as chair of the board for the Human Relations Commission for Lubbock, as a board member for the Community Service Commission, chair of the Lubbock ISD Hispanic Advisory Committee, board member for the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education, and board member for the United Way Family Service Association of Lubbock.
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