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  SAN ANTONIO – Tickets are now available for the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) 1st Annual Roast and Fundraiser. The achievements of nationally renowned champion of Hispanic higher education, Dr. Tomás A. Arciniega, President of California State University at Bakersfield, will be formally recognized at the inaugural event which will take place Oct. 17, 2003, at the Hyatt Regency-Orange County in Anaheim, California. HACU’s 17th Annual Conference is scheduled at the same hotel Oct. 18-21.

“From California to Capitol Hill, Dr. Arciniega has proven a compelling advocate for the higher education needs of the nation’s youngest and largest ethnic population. His remarkable achievements have opened countless new doors to college and career success for Hispanic students everywhere,” said HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores.

As an active member of the HACU Governing Board and past Governing Board Chair, Arciniega has helped build HACU’s membership to more than 300 colleges and universities serving the largest concentrations of Hispanic higher education students in 26 states and Puerto Rico.

His public championship of the country’s fastest-growing school-age population has helped HACU win over 250 million dollars in the last ten years in new support from the federal government and private sector for Hispanic college students and the higher education institutions that serve them.

“Dr. Arciniega is an extraordinary leader for diversity, equity and excellence who continues to inspire all of us in the Hispanic higher education community,” Flores said.

As one of the longest serving presidents in the California State University System, Arciniega, 65, has served as president of California State University at Bakersfield since 1983. The university’s multi-cultural student enrollment has more than doubled during his 20-year tenure, and the university’s budget has more than tripled.

Arciniega, who in June announced plans to retire on July 1, 2004, is the winner of numerous state and national awards. He is a widely published expert on higher education administration, bilingual education and multicultural education. He has served as a technical consultant to the Ministries of Education in Honduras, Bolivia, Panama, and Guatemala. Arciniega was named by Change magazine as one of the top 100 Academic Leaders in American Higher Education.

Arciniega formerly served as vice president for academic affairs at California State University at Fresno, dean of the College of Education at San Diego State University, and graduate dean and educational administration chair at the University of Texas at El Paso. Arciniega, who is also a tenured professor of educational administration at the Bakersfield campus, was a tenured faculty member at each of these higher education institutions before arriving at the Bakersfield campus in 1983.

Arciniega is Trustee Emeritus of the Carnegie Foundation and a past presidential appointee of the National Council on Education Research. He serves on the boards of the Aspen Institute, Educational Testing Service, Tomás Rivera Policy Institute, National Hispanic Scholarship Fund and MESA (Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievements). He is a past president of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and a member of the Telecommunications Advisory Panel for Pacific Bell.

A portion of the proceeds from the 1st Annual Roast and Fundraiser, which is open to the public, will be used to establish a scholarship in Arciniega’s name.

Higher education leaders and advocates attend HACU’s annual conferences, which have become national platforms for promoting new public policies, partnerships and programs in support of Hispanic higher education.

For more information about HACU’s 17th Annual Conference and the Arciniega Roast and Fundraiser, visit www.hacu.net. Or contact HACU Communications Director Daniel Casillas at (210) 692-3805. Ext. 3249.