“We must have been a very advanced family ideologically, because I went to college. I was sixteen when I was admitted to the College of Mines… Mrs. [Isabel K.] Fineau, who taught French and Spanish, was my favorite teacher. She was a darling. You see, there weren’t many Mexican girls in those days in school. But she seemed to take quite a lot of interest in me, especially since my mother and father who would take me to school every morning and wait there in the car until I finished, because by that time my father didn’t work anymore. So my father and mother would go there and wait, and they would read the newspaper and read their favorite books while I was in school.”
Maria Elena Garcia Connolly, Class of 1936
(Sources: The Flowsheet 1936; Diamond Days: An Oral History of the University of Texas at El Paso)
Kristine Navarro-McElhaney served as the director of UTEP's Institute of Oral History until 2014.