SAN ANGELO, Texas — Angelo State University announce Friday its Department of History was officially renamed as the Arnoldo De Leon Department of History.
According to an ASU release, the department was named in honor of the longtime ASU professor who is acknowledged as one of the nation's preeminent scholars in the field of Mexican American History.
De Leon graduated from the university in 1970 and returned as a faculty member in 1973 until his retirement in 2015, where he taught courses in American, Texas, Mexican American and Latin American history.
While at ASU, De Leon established himself as a prolific writer and earned early acclaim for "They Called Them Greasers: Anglo Attitudes Toward Mexican in Texas 1821-1900."
The book is one of the seminal works in Texas history and considered by many as one of the top 10 books written on the state's past, according to the release
De Leon's works include "Texas and Texans," a textbook he published in 2002 with four co-authors and the college textbook on the state's past, " The History of Texas," which was co-authored with Robert A. Calvert and Gregg Cantrell.
"During his 41-year career at Angelo State University, Dr. Arnoldo De Leon exemplified the role of a true academic scholar dedicated to the publication of his research and a professor devoted to teaching his students," Dr. John Klingemann, ASU's College of Arts and Humanities dean, said. "He also became one of the most influential scholars in the field of Mexican American Studies, as well as the study of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. His expertise, camaraderie and passion for teaching students set a standard for many of us to follow. On a personal level, I am honored to have been mentored by Dr. De Leon."
De Leon's publishing record includes a total of 21 books, more than 70 essays and book reviews.
Book awards include Luciano Guajardo Award from the Webb County Heritage Foundation in Laredo and a Robert A. Calvert Book Prize from Texas A&M University Press.
De Leon also received ASU's C.J. "Red" Davidson Endowed Professorship in History in 1988 and was ASU's inaugural recipient of the Texas Tech University System Chancellor's Council Distinguished Research Award in 2009, the release said.
In 2013, the National Association of Chicana and Chicano gave De Leon the Premio Estrella de Aztalan Lifetime Achievement Award.
After his retirement in 2015, the TTUS Board of Regents awarded De Leon with the title of Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus.