There is a portrait of Chavez in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
In 1973, college professors in Mount Angel, Oregon, established the first four-year Mexican-American college in the United States. They chose Chavez as their symbolic figurehead, naming the college Colegio Cesar Chavez. In the book Colegio Cesar Chavez, 1973-1983: A Chicano Struggle for Educational Self-Determination, author Carlos Maldonado writes that Chavez visited the campus twice, joining in public demonstrations in support of the college. Though the college closed in 1983, it remains a recognized part of Oregon history. On its website, the Oregon Historical Society writes: "Structured as a 'college-without-walls', more than 100 students took classes in Chicano Studies, early childhood development, and adult education. Significant financial and administrative problems caused Colegio to close in 1983. Its history represents the success of a grassroots movement". The Colegio has been described as having been a symbol of the Latino presence in Oregon.
In 1973, Chavez received the Jefferson Award for Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged.
Chavez visiting Colegio Cesar Chavez.
In 1992, Chavez was awarded the Pacem in Terris Award, named after a 1963 encyclical by Pope John XXIII calling upon all people of good will to secure peace among all nations. Pacem in terris is Latin for "Peace on Earth".
On September 8, 1994, Chavez was presented posthumously with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton. The award was received by his widow, Helen Chavez.
The Californian cities of Long Beach, Modesto, Sacramento, San Diego, Berkeley, and San Jose, California, have renamed parks after him, as well as the City of Seattle, Washington. In Amarillo, Texas, a bowling alley has been renamed in his memory. In Los Angeles, César E. Chávez Avenue, originally two separate streets (Macy Street west of the Los Angeles River and Brooklyn Avenue east of the river), extends from Sunset Boulevard and runs through East Los Angeles and Monterey Park. In San Francisco, "César Chávez Street", originally Army Street, is named in his memory. At San Francisco State University the student center is also named after him. The University of California, Berkeley, has a "César E. Chávez Student Center", which lies across Lower Sproul Plaza from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Student Union. California State University San Marcos's Chavez Plaza includes a statue to Chavez. In 2007, The University of Texas at Austin unveiled its own Cesar Chavez statue on campus. Fresno named an adult school, where a majority percent of students' parents or themselves are or have been field workers, after Chavez. In Austin, Texas, 1st Street was renamed "César Chávez Boulevard" in 1993. In Ogden, Utah, a four-block section of 30th Street was renamed "César Chávez Street". In Oakland, there is a library named after him and his birthday, March 31, is a district holiday in remembrance of him. On July 8, 2009, Portland, Oregon, changed the name of 39th Avenue to Cesar Chavez Boulevard. San Antonio renamed Durago Avenue "César Chávez Avenue" in May 2011, though not without some controversy. In 2003, the United States Postal Service honored Chavez with a postage stamp. The largest flatland park in Phoenix, Arizona is named after Chavez and features the "César Chávez" Branch Library and a life-size statue of Chavez by artist Zarco Guerrero. In April, 2010, the city of Dallas, Texas, changed street signage along the downtown street-grade portion of Central Expressway, renaming it for Chavez; part of the street passes adjacent to the downtown Dallas Farmers Market complex. El Paso has a controlled-access highway, the portion of Texas Loop 375 running beside the Rio Grande, called the "César Chávez Border Highway"; also in El Paso, the alternative junior-senior high school in the Ysleta Independent School District is named for Chavez. Las Cruces, New Mexico, has an elementary school named for Chavez as well.
The National Chavez Center, Keene, California.
In 2004, the National Chavez Center was opened on the UFW national headquarters campus in Keene by the César E. Chávez Foundation. It currently consists of a visitor center, memorial garden and his grave site. When it is fully completed, the 187-acre (0.76 km2) site will include a museum and conference center to explore and share Chavez's work. On September 14, 2011, the U.S. Department of the Interior added the 187 acres (76 ha) Nuestra Senora Reina de La Paz ranch to the National Register of Historic Places.
In 2005, a Cesar Chavez commemorative meeting was held in San Antonio, honoring his work on behalf of immigrant farmworkers and other immigrants. Chavez High School in Houston is named in his honor, as is Cesar E. Chavez High School in Delano, California. In Davis, California; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Bakersfield, California and Madison, Wisconsin there are elementary schools named after him in his honor. In Davis, there is also an apartment complex named after Chavez which caters specifically to low-income residents and people with physical and mental disabilities. In Racine, Wisconsin, there is a community center named the "César Chávez Community Center" also in his honor. The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) nominated him three times for the Nobel Peace Prize.
On December 6, 2006, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver inducted Chavez into the California Hall of Fame located at The California Museum for History, Women, and the Arts.
Chavez was referenced by Stevie Wonder in the song "Black Man" from the album Songs in the Key of Life and by Tom Morello in the song "Union Song" from the album One Man Revolution.
On May 18, 2011, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced the Navy would be naming the last of 14 Lewis and Clark-class cargo ships after Cesar Chavez. The USNS Cesar Chavez was launched on May 5, 2012.
One of Chavez's grandchildren is the professional golfer Sam Chavez.
Chavez is honored with a building named the "César E. Chávez Building" located on the University of Arizona campus. The building was built in 1952 and houses the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, the Mexican-American Studies and Research Center and Hispanic Student Affairs.
On October 8, 2012, President Barack Obama designated the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument within the National Park system.
In 2012, a film about Chavez's life was produced. It was released in the US on March 28, 2014.