Texas Gala to honor visionaries for contributions to Hispanic higher education

The Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (HACU) will host a Silver Anniversary Gala in Texas this October to commemorate the association’s founding as the nation’s voice on behalf of Hispanic-Serving Institutions. At the gala, Antonio Rigual, Ph.D., HACU founder and the association’s first executive director, will be the first inductee to HACU’s newly created Hall of Champions.

“We established the HACU Hall of Champions during the 25th year of the association’s founding to recognize the achievements of individuals who have made a lasting contribution to Hispanic education,” said HACU President & CEO Antonio R. Flores. “We are very honored that our first inductee will be Dr. Antonio Rigual who has demonstrated his commitment to championing Hispanic higher education success as a professor of Spanish, university administrator, and a pioneer of Hispanic higher education on a national level. We look forward to celebrating this milestone moment in San Antonio, the city where the association was founded.”

The fundraising event will take place on Monday, Oct. 31, 2011 at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio, located at 600 E. Market St. The gala begins at 6:30 p.m. with a silent auction of a limited edition print by internationally renowned artist Jesse Trevino, a 7:30 p.m. dinner program, and a 9 p.m. dance. Reservations, individual or by table, can be made online at www.hacu.net or by contacting 210-692-3805.

At the gala, HACU will also recognize its founding board of directors. Listed with the titles they held in 1986, these individuals are: Gilbert Sanchez, president, New Mexico Highlands University; Steven Altman, president, Texas A&I University;  Max Castillo, president, San Antonio College; the late Sister Elizabeth Anne Sueltenfuss , president, Our Lady of the Lake University; Gus Cardenas, national liaison for Hispanic affairs, Xerox Corporation; Raul Cardenas, president, South Mountain Community College; Jose Garza, director of affirmative action, Premark International, Inc.; and Carlos Plazas, president, St. Augustine College.

HACU’s pursuit of its mission to “Champion Hispanic Success in Higher Education” has resulted in the awarding of more than $2.6 million in scholarships and more than 9,500 paid internships. Through the association’s collaborative efforts, HACU has secured more than $1.7 billion in federal funding for capacity building at Hispanic-Serving Institutions nationwide.

The HACU Silver Anniversary Gala is made possible by the contributions of higher education supporters, members, and sponsors. Gala lead sponsors are MillerCoors and Sodexo.