Dear Spartan Community,
Today marks the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Month, a time for commemoration and celebration of the Hispanic and Latinx community in America. First recognized in 1968 as “Hispanic Heritage Week,” this period was later expanded to become a month-long celebration beginning every year on September 15. This start date coincides with the independence days of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, but Hispanic Heritage Month also includes the independence days of Mexico, Chile and Belize.
As the first Latina President of San José State University, where 28% of our population identifies as Latinx, celebrating my first National Hispanic Heritage Month here is an honor and privilege. The presence and influence of our Latinx community are strong, both on and off campus – for instance, CSU Chancellor-Select Dr. Mildred Garcia will assume her new role next month, and our own Estefania Montiel (Liberal Studies ’24) was named a CSU Trustees Awardee earlier this week. We are also being recognized on a national stage: just days ago, in celebration of Hispanic Serving Institutions Week, Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education Nasser Paydar specifically identified SJSU as a leader in promoting and supporting Latinx learners. (Dr. Paydar’s thoughts on San José State can be found around the 1:40 mark of this video.)
The Latinx Heritage Month calendar showcases some of the many events we will be celebrating during the coming month, giving you the opportunity to learn more not only about Hispanic culture, but also campus programs like the Chicano/Latino Faculty and Staff Association (CLFSA), Chicana/o Studies, Centro, and more. I hope to see you at one of the many wonderful campus celebrations!