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January 29, 2007

Director of Communications
210/576-3206 or 210/367-0539

HACU Capitol Forum in Washington D.C. Set for March 25-27, 2007 

Hispanic Higher Education Leaders Head to the Hill to Address New Congress

SAN ANTONIO, January 29, 2007 – Hundreds of college presidents representing more than 250 Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) of higher education are heading to Washington, D.C. this spring hoping to raise awareness for their cause among our nation’s top legislators.

The annual Capitol Forum, sponsored by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), is set for March 25-27 in Washington, D.C. Registration for HACU’s Capitol Forum is open to HACU member colleges and universities, faculty, staff, administrators students, and HACU’s corporate and federal partners. Registration is available online at

Attending HACU’s Capitol Forum will be leaders in the Hispanic higher education community, HSI college presidents and the association’s federal and corporate partners. Participants will directly meet with key members of the House and Senate. At stake in this congressional season is nearly a half billion dollars needed to successfully educate the nation’s largest minority group and fastest-growing labor pool.

“No doubt, Hispanics are changing the face of our nation’s colleges,” reports José Jaime Rivera, president of the University of the Sacred Heart in San Juan, Puerto Rico and chairman of HACU’s governing board. “Yet, HSIs remain the most under-funded institutions serving the neediest ethnic population in America,” he said. 

HACU officials will push for the reauthorization of key legislative acts and offer amendments to the Higher Education Act (HEA) and propose changes to the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act (Farm Bill). They will also propose changes to current and future legislation impacting HSIs and the Hispanic community such as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind) and the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, and advocate for increased funding opportunities in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) as well as minority health issues.

HACU represents more than 450 colleges and universities located in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Latin America, Spain and Portugal. Within the last 15 years, the number of colleges and universities qualifying to be designated as HSIs has doubled. HACU officials see this trend continuing as “emerging HSIs” are identified and the Hispanic population continues to grow at a rate faster than any other minority group in the U.S.

This year’s Capitol Forum is sponsored by Nelnet and Office Depot.