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Celebrating the lasting impact of IU’s Hispanic/Latine community


EDITOR'S NOTE: This message has been updated to include two IU Southeast alumnae.

Our university community is rich in culture and history because of the incredible contributions of each member of our Indiana University family. While it's always important to recognize the strength we draw from our diversity, National Hispanic Heritage Month is an especially good opportunity to celebrate and take great pride in the students, faculty, staff, and alumni whose collective efforts make our campuses welcoming places for everyone.

For instance, our IU Northwest campus — where more than 1 in 4 students is Hispanic/Latine — maintains a federal designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution from the U.S. Department of Education. It is currently the only campus in the state to earn this designation, but this population is growing university-wide. This fall, IU has a record enrollment of Hispanic/Latine students. Since 2015, this enrollment has increased by 53% — growth that has outpaced our peers in the state.

We are proud of these distinctions and even prouder of our Hispanic/Latine leaders within the IU community.

Among them are IU South Bend alumnus and new IU Foundation board member Isaac Torres, who credits his IU education with helping him create the financial services company he owns and operates today. Mr. Torres continues to support students at his alma mater, as well as La Casa at IU Bloomington. IUPUI alumnus Martin Vargas' leadership in the IU Latino Alumni Association and dedication to our university have strengthened the IU experience for Hispanic/Latine students. And IU Southeast alumnae Leslie Venzor and Ashley Lopez expanded opportunities for their peers by helping to bring the Indiana Latinx Leadership Conference to IU Southeast for the first time in the event’s 20-year history.

Every day, our students, faculty, staff, and alumni across the state are committed to providing pathways for all of our students to grow and achieve. Our dedication to welcoming everyone to IU is constant, and I'm grateful for the many events and activities happening on our campuses during National Hispanic Heritage Month to honor our diverse community.


Pamela Whitten

Indiana University

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