Madla III speaks about father and legacy
On Monday, April 23, the Student Government Association invited Dr. Frank Madla III to speak at a luncheon to discuss his father, the famed advocate for South Side education Senator Frank Madla Jr., and his history and impact within Texas A&M University-San Antonio.
Madla III is currently in the process of publishing a book about his father, coming next year in collaboration with the university’s 10-year anniversary. The book will cover where the senator came from, his path to politics, and why tradition and education played such an important role in his life.
“I’ve written a manuscript based on some journals that dad left me when he died, we found these journals and I put this manuscript together,” Madla III said. “I planned on…putting them in spirals and just sharing with whoever wanted to read it. But somehow the university got involved and wanted to publish it.”
Madla Maroon Mondays is a student-led tradition that has been reinstated by Mary Walker, Student Government President, in the hopes of having the tradition carried on even after she graduates Spring Term 2018.
“We do have traditions and it’s important to be involved on campus always,” Walker said. “If you can’t be involved in an organization or a club, going to talks like these still allows you to feel part of the community.”
Students who attended the talk were interested in the late senator’s path in bringing about the university to San Antonio’s South Side, and his lasting footprint on the campus since his death in November 2006.
“This is my second year and as a newly elected graduate senator, I just wanted to learn more about the history of the school and meet [Madla III] and learn more about his father from his perspective,” said graduate student Karl Mitchell.
Madla III spoke about his father’s life through the whole hour and touched on his early life, political influences, first election race and failure.
Another student was touched by the son’s words on his father.
“It was very informative and to be honest, very endearing,” said Felix Trevino, junior business major as he lifted his hands and looked at the room around him. “He was talking about his dad, and his dad’s dream and here it is.”
“I dedicated a chapter to A&M-San Antonio because obviously this took up a fair amount of my father’s time” said Madla III, before he read an excerpt from the opening of the chapter dedicated to A&M-San Antonio.
“There was no program, policy, legislation or social service issue that would consume more of my father’s time than bringing higher education to San Antonio’s South Side.”
Madla III then gave attendees the same advice his father gave him when he was dropped off at college.
“These are the best years of your life, enjoy them make the most of them. My father worked tirelessly to make this place happen for y’all. So make the most of it.”
As the applause faded, Madla III provided old campaign pamphlets, photos and other documents from his father’s early campaigns and invited students to stay behind and introduce themselves as he was interested in hearing their stories.
“I think it’s amazing that he feels this connection to campus and was so willing to come by,” said Walker. “We’re very privileged in that sense.”
Dr. Frank L Madla III’s book “Working The Aisles” will be published by the Texas A&M University Press and is expected to hit shelves in 2019.