Lauro F. Cavazos, Ph. D.
Dr. Lauro F. Cavazos was born near Kingsville, Texas in 1927. He graduated from Texas Tech University with a B.A. degree in 1949 and an M.A. degree in 1951. In 1954, he earned a Ph.D. degree in Physiology from Iowa State University. From 1954 to 1964, Dr. Cavazos taught anatomy at the Medical College of Virginia. He taught at the Tufts University School of Medicine from 1964 to 1980 and served as its dean from 1975 to 1980.
In 1980, Dr. Cavazos became the first alumnus to hold the distinction of serving as Texas Tech University's President. In 1988 Dr. Cavazos left his alma mater and became the first Hispanic appointed to a cabinet level position when President Ronald Reagan appointed him Secretary of Education (1988-1990). Dr. Cavazos has 21 honorary degrees, has been honored as Distinguished Alumnus of Texas Tech University and was named "Most Influential Hispanic" in the United States by Hispanic Business Magazine. In 2006, Dr. Cavazos published his memoirs, "A Kineño Remembers: from the King Ranch to the White House".
Dr. Cavazos served as a Professor in the Department of Public Health and Family Medicine at Tufts University's School of Medicine in Boston, MA. He was married to the former Peggy Ann Murdock, whom he met while a student at Texas Tech. Dr. Lauro Cavazos passed away on March 15, 2022.
Ophelia Powell-Malone was born near Austin, Texas in 1931. She graduated from Anderson High School in Austin, Texas and studied at Huston-Tillotson College (an historically Black college) before transferring to Texas Technological College.
Upon transferring to Texas Tech, Mrs. Powell-Malone studied Home Economics with a concentration in Home Nursing and Health Care. She did her student teaching at Dunbar High School under the supervision of Mrs. Lottie Faye Barrow, whom she greatly admired.
In 1964, Mrs. Powell-Malone became the first African American to receive a baccalaureate degree from Texas Technological College when she received a B.S. degree in Home Economics. A newspaper article highlighting Mrs. Powell-Malone's accomplishment noted that she had applied herself to the task at hand and had succeeded.
After graduation, she worked in the Cold Spring, TX and Hobbs, NM public schools, worked as a dietitian at Langston University in Oklahoma, and in nursing homes in Houston and Lubbock. She had one child, Mr. Leslie K. Malone of Fayetteville, Arkansas. Mrs. Powell-Malone passed away on September 2, 1979.
Mentor Tech will continue to strive to honor the namesakes of the program.