FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 19, 2021
SAN ANTONIO – The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities has announced eight honorees will be recognized for their contributions to improving opportunities for college students. The awards will be presented during HACU’s 35th Annual Conference, taking place virtually, October 25-27, 2021. This year, HACU celebrates the anniversary milestone of its founding in 1986, as reflected in the conference theme, “35 Years of Championing Hispanic Higher Education Success.”
As the nation’s leading voice for Hispanic higher education and Hispanic-Serving Institutions, HACU has consistently garnered the support of federal, corporate and higher education communities to offer programs and initiatives that advance Hispanic higher education. From support for its well-known HACU National Internship Program for college students to gain real world professional experience, to its more recent HACU Leadership Academy/La Academia de Liderazgo for aspiring Hispanic leaders moving up the administrative ranks in higher education. These and other programs, along with advocacy efforts, have created pathways to federal, corporate and higher education careers for organizations seeking diversity in their workplace.
“Each year, HACU honors those who champion and fulfill our mission of advancing Hispanic student success,” said HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores. “Throughout our 35-year history we have been fortunate to create partnerships with individuals and organizations that have helped pave the way for Hispanics to excel in their communities, across the nation and abroad. We congratulate the eight honorees who have made an immeasurable difference on the lives of so many and have left a lasting legacy for future generations.”
2021 HACU Hall of Champions Inductees
Two honorees will be inducted into HACU's Hall of Champions, which recognizes those who embody the mission of the Association through their exemplary efforts and contributions to higher education. The following individuals will be inducted during the Opening Plenary of the Annual Conference.
Salme Harju Steinberg, Ph.D., president emerita at Northeastern Illinois University. She is a higher education leader whose career path includes a wide range of experience and achievement in public and private higher education as a scholar, faculty member, provost, and a 12-year state university president.
Frank Reyes is a trustee of the San Bernardino Community College District, which oversees San Bernardino Valley College, Crafton Hills College, the Economic Development & Corporate Training division and KVCR TV/FM-the PBS and NPR affiliate station for the Inland region. He has a 35-year career in public higher education and workforce development as a student advisor at San Bernardino Valley College, California State University, San Bernardino, and as vice chancellor of governmental affairs at SBCCD.
2021 HACU Awards of Excellence
Six honorees will also be recognized during the conference at the International Plenary or the Town Hall.
President’s Award of Excellence for outstanding leadership and support of HACU’s mission will be presented to Monte E. Pérez, Ph.D. In tribute to his service to the Association as an 11-year member of HACU’s Governing Board and two years as chair. Pérez has provided outstanding leadership as President of Los Angeles Mission College, as an advocate for Hispanic higher education and through participation in HACU events and initiatives both in the U.S. and abroad.
Exemplary Policy/Advocacy Leadership Award in recognition of exemplary leadership and support of HACU’s policy issues will be presented to The Honorable Joaquin Castro (TX-20). As a co-chair of the Congressional Hispanic-Serving Institution Caucus, and the author of the HERE Act, Congressman Castro has played an invaluable role in support of HSIs in Congress. He has made important contributions to the educational success of underserved populations, particularly of Latinos/as.
Outstanding HACU-Member Institution in recognition of excellence in support of HACU’s mission will be presented to Metropolitan State University of Denver. For 35 years, MSU Denver has been a supportive member of the Association and a leader in the social mobility of its students. Committed to fostering equity, MSU Denver recently hosted HACU’s Emerging Leaders’ Summit and has actively participated in advocacy efforts as part of the Capitol Forum and engaged students in HACU student programs.
Extraordinary Philanthropic Partner Award in recognition of excellence in support of HACU’s mission from a philanthropic partner will be presented to The Sallie Mae Fund. Through grant support, The Sallie Mae Fund has provided the means to further advance the shared mission of both organizations to address critical issues that affect educational access, social justice, diversity, equity, inclusion, career success and economic mobility for minority and underserved students, many who attend Hispanic-Serving Institutions.
Outstanding Private Sector Partner in recognition of excellence in support of HACU’s mission from a corporate partner will be presented to Google. Through a partnership established in 2015, Google’s commitment to supporting Hispanic higher education success with leadership and career development programming has benefited Latino students at Hispanic-Serving Institutions. Their support of curriculum development for technology majors and their offering of internships and entry-level opportunities have provided invaluable career experience and pathways for students.
Outstanding Public Sector Partner in recognition of excellence in support of HACU’s mission from a federal partner will be presented to the U.S. Census Bureau. For several years, HACU and the U.S. Census Bureau have partnered to offer paid internships to students from colleges and universities nationwide. The U.S. Census Bureau has contributed to providing valuable experience to students pursuing career paths within the federal government. The U.S. Census Bureau will be recognized for its long-standing support of HACU’s National Internship Program and its efforts to develop a diverse workforce.
Download a PDF of HACU 2021 Awardees, here.
The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, founded in 1986, represents more than 500 colleges and universities in the United States, Latin America, Spain and school districts throughout the U.S. HACU is the only national association representing existing and emerging Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). The Association’s headquarters are in San Antonio, Texas, with regional offices in Washington, D.C. and Sacramento, California.
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