CSU–Pueblo named HACU’s top Hispanic Serving Institution

Colorado State University-Pueblo will be honored in October for its commitment to the success of Hispanics in higher education. CSU-Pueblo learned last week that it will receive the Outstanding HACU-Member Institution Award from among 206 HSI members of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) at its 22nd Annual Conference in Denver Oct. 11-13.

Antonio Flores, HACU President and CEO, notified CSU-Pueblo President Joseph Garcia last week of the honor and requested that he accept the award at a Partnership Lunch on October 13 at the Colorado Convention Center. HACU’s 22nd Annual Conference: "Championing Hispanic Higher Education Success: Strengthening the Nation's Prosperity and Opportunity" will be held Oct. 11-13, 2008, at the Hyatt Regency Denver and Colorado Convention Center. The 7th Annual Latino/a Higher Education Leadership Institute also will be offered as part of the conference, which will attract more than 1,500 attendees, including president/CEOs of HACU’s 400+ member institutions, distinguished faculty, civic and student leaders, corporate representatives and others concerned with the educational success of Hispanics in celebration of HACU’s 22 years of championing Hispanic higher education.

“We feel very strongly that CSU-Pueblo deserves to be recognized for its support of our mission and its initiatives,” Flores said.

Flores said the HACU Governing Board established the national award “to recognize and honor extraordinary efforts and success by an institution that has excelled in advancing the mission and goals of HACU.” He said the award was based on CSU-Pueblo’s support for and involvement in the HACU mission and its initiatives.

The University has had significant involvement in HACU conferences and workshops over the past year. President Garcia serves on HACU’s national leadership team as a member of the governmental affairs and advocacy committee and he, Multicultural Center Director Tony Montoya, and Executive Assistant to the President Trisha Macias are serving on the host and planning committee for the annual conference. Last year, the University sent the largest delegation from any Colorado institution to HACU’s annual conference in 2007 in Chicago. President Garcia also has helped to organize an effort among Colorado institutions of higher education to share information and ideas with the goal of better serving the educational needs of Colorado’s fastest growing population demographic— Hispanic Americans.

“It is particularly satisfying to receive recognition from a national organization that feels as passionately about Hispanic higher education issues as we do here at CSU-Pueblo,” said Garcia. “Meeting the educational needs of the Hispanic community is an important part of our mission as an Hispanic Serving institution. We want to serve the entire population of southern Colorado and, while most of our students are not Hispanic, we know we will not be doing our job if we don’t make particular efforts to recruit, retain and graduate Hispanic students. The economic future of Colorado will depend on our collective ability to do so.”

HACU was established in 1986 with a founding membership of 18 institutions. Today, HACU represents approximately 450 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Latin America, Spain and Portugal. HACU is the only national association that represents Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). Recently, HACU was named one of the nation’s top Hispanic non-profits by Hispanic Business. HACU is committed to assuring higher education access and success for Hispanic students.

Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.