CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Gabe Rivas III was known as a pillar of education to the Corpus Christi community and his legacy as a member of the Del Mar College Board of Regents won't be forgotten, said friends and colleagues Thursday.
Rivas died Wednesday of COVID-19 complications. He was 66.
Rivas was first elected to the board in 2000, and served until 2006. He spent four of those years as its president. He was part of the board in 2003, when a bond was approved to overhaul Del Mar's West Campus. At at $108 million, it was a huge accomplishment.
“There’s some incredible projects that were built out of that bond election and out of his leadership,” said current Board of Regents chair Carol Scott said.
In 2007, he was then appointed to its District 1 chair after the person in that position had retired, and ran for another term in 2008.
Scott said she valued his "incredible institutional knowledge."
“He had been a regent for 20 years," she said. "Any board meeting -- we were having a discussion on a topic, he would bring in contact and issues with in that topic.”
Longtime friend and colleague Elva Estrada also remembered Rivas as helpful and smart.
“(He was) always ready to help me, " she said. "He was such a good inspiration me; any question I had, I would call Regent Rivas. Especially when it came to board policy.”
They said they will remember him as a man who dedicated himself to education and helping others, also serving as a part of organizations including LULAC Council No. 1 and Amistad Community Health.
“Gabe you’re going to be missed," Estrada said. "I love you, God bless you, and may you rest in peace.”