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Rene Nuñez Memorial Collection

Identifier: MS-0434

Scope and Contents

The Rene Nuñez Memorial Collection, assembled after Nuñez's death, documents his work in promoting educational equity and parent involvement, and his help in founding the Chicano Studies Department at SDSU. Filed alphabetically, the collection includes educational treatises, academic papers, newspaper clippings, correspondence, and materials relating to Nuñez's memorial service at San Diego State University.  The collection dates from 1968 to 2008.


  • Creation: 1968-2008
  • Creation: Majority of material found in 1972-2006


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in some or all of these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creator(s) of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of archival collections is such that multiple creators are often applicable and copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine. In any case, the user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, obtaining publication rights and copyright infringement. When requesting images from Special Collections & University Archives for publication, we require a signed agreement waiving San Diego State University of any liability in the event of a copyright violation.

Biographical Note

The son of immigrants, Rene Nuñez was born in 1936 and raised in San Diego. He graduated from San Diego High School in 1955, and joined the army four years later. After leaving the army, Nuñez attended the University of California, Los Angeles where he received his Bachelor's degree in Spanish in 1967. During this time, he worked as the Director of the Educational Clearinghouse, a college outreach program for Chicano/a and African-American students living in LA's underprivileged neighborhoods. As an activist dedicated to improving Chicano education, Nuñez participated in the 1968 Chicano Student Walkouts, and helped to organize the Biltmore Hotel educational demonstration of 1968. He was arrested as part of the "Biltmore 10." He played a major role in the 1969 UC Santa Barbara Conference of Chicano students, professors, and activists. The conference discussed educational issues in the Chicano community, and resulted in the creation of "El Plan," a blueprint for the codification of Chicano Studies programs at the university level. Several universities implemented the plan the following year. The conference also established the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA). In addition to this work, Nuñez was active in the anti-war movement as well.

In 1969, Nuñez became Director of the Centro de Estudios Chicanos at SDSU. He formally joined the faculty in 1971, and helped to develop the curriculum for the Chicana and Chicano Studies department. In his classes, Nuñez promoted the principles of the Chicano Movement, celebrated Chicano history and culture, and encouraged community outreach and involvement. In 1972, Nuñez received a Master's degree in Urban Studies from Occidental College. In 1985, he obtained a Master's in Political Science from UCSD, and in 1994 he acquired a joint doctorate in education from SDSU and Claremont Graduate University.

In 2002, Nuñez retired as Professor Emeritus of Chicano Studies. He continued teaching and remained an active participant in the San Diego County Latino Coalition for Education, the National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies (NACCS), the Latino Education Summit, and La Rama de Padres Latinos. Nuñez died in 2006. Faculty at SDSU held a "Teach-In and Call to Action" in honor of Nuñez.


2.31 Linear Feet (Five Hollinger boxes and one half-size Hollinger box)

Language of Materials


Spanish; Castilian

Source of Acquisition

Richard Griswold

Method of Acquisition

Materials in this collection were compiled and donated by Richard Griswold on 18 October 2007.

Accruals and Additions

2009-043, 2012-025.

Related Materials

Chicano Federation of San Diego County Records, 1968-1980

Carmen Sandoval Fernandez Poster Collection, 1974-1983

Arturo Casares Papers, 1968-2007

Maria Garcia Papers, 1968-1997

Citizens United for Racial Equality Records, 1968-1976

Separated Materials

Several independent newspapers from this collection have been added to the Radical Ephemera and Underground Publications Collection

Other Descriptive Information

This collection was processed as part of the Chicana and Chicano Studies Archives Project, made possible by a grant from the President's Leadership Fund.

Rene Nuñez Memorial Collection
Amanda Lanthorne
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections & University Archives Repository

5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego CA 92182-8050 US