Fresno State professor emeritus and community activist Dr. Theresa R. Perez died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) at the age of 85 on Jan. 13, according to The Fresno Bee.
Perez was the first Latina to run for Fresno County’s Board of Supervisors in 1975. She was also involved in the Fresno State La Raza program, later to become the Department of Chicano and Latin American Studies, and was a major figure in the development of the Chicano Youth Conference.
Tom Uribes, former Fresno State public information officer, said that Perez laid the foundation for what has become the university’s core values.
“Dr. Teresa Perez was a champion of many causes,” Uribes said. “[She] was an extraordinary human being whose passionate and able leadership and mentorship combined with motherly compassion gave strength and inspiration to many Fresno State students, staff, faculty and community activists the past five decades.”