Adolfo R. "Sonny" Barrera
Adolfo Barrera Drive on the Round Rock Campus is named for Dr. Adolfo R. "Sonny" Barrera.
Dr. Barrera was a counselor, leader, and administrator at Southwest Texas State University for 19 years from 1983 - 2002. A street was named in honor for his work in multicultural programming.
My charge was to do whatever I could to spur SWT along on its five-year plan. SWT administration set aside ten thousand dollars for minority scholarships for African Americans and Hispanics.
The first year we had funds for 30 and I awarded 31 scholarships.
– Dr. Barrera, interviewed by Alvin R. Curette
Dr. Barrera's first appointment was as Assistant Dean of Students and Academic Services for Minority Affairs. He was promoted to Director of Minority Student Affairs and led to his final title of Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs. At their respective times, each of these appointments were inaugural positions, and Dr. Barrera played an integral role in the development of multicultural programming at Texas State University. Specifically, he was charged with overseeing the recruitment and retention of multicultural students, the expansion of TRIO programs including the re-establishment of Upward Bound and Student Support Services, and establishment of Educational Talent Search and Rural Talent Search, Youth Opportunities Unlimited/Pre College Summer Enrichment Program, College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP), Brownsville Educational Summer Outreach (BESO) Program, Student Learning Assistance Center's Supplemental Instruction Lab, USDA's Summer Food Service Program, Underrepresented Student Advisory Council (USAC), and the enhancement of scholarship opportunities for first generation students at Texas State University.
He counseled and mentored many students who were first generation and ethnic minority students on personal, financial, and academic issues and developed student leadership opportunities. His work at Texas State University paved the way for the establishment as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI).
In his various leadership roles, he provided support for minority student development programs from recruitment through graduation. Furthermore, he initiated and developed a campus-wide integrated retention program for minority students. He wrote proposals and assisted others in writing proposals to obtain grants and/or gift support for the university's interest in minority recruitment and retention.
In addition to the support that Dr. Barrera provided to the university, he similarly served the profession and the community. He served as Vice President of Student Affairs at Palo Alto College, where he continued his support of Latino students at a Hispanic Serving Institution, a personal professional quest, where he served until he retired in 2007. His outstanding characteristic was mentoring students to be successful in their endeavored careers.
A Street on the Round Rock Campus is Named
On May 20, 2021, The Texas State University System Board of Regents approved the motions set forth by Texas State University to rename two residence halls that were originally named for rivers – Angelina and San Gabriel on the San Marcos Campus – and name two unnamed streets on the Round Rock Campus after distinguished members of the Texas State family who are from the Black and Hispanic/Latinx communities.