Hello! I'm Brian Sandoval, President of the University of Nevada, Reno. On behalf of the entire University, I wish to express our support of Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month. This is a time to celebrate the memorable accomplishments of the members of our Hispanic/Latinx communities.
As we commemorate this month, I wanted to let you all know about the University's effort to become a designated Hispanic Serving Institution.
This is one of the most important initiatives our University, has ever embarked upon … this prestigious classification speaks to opportunity … It speaks to the future of Nevada, ... and it speaks to the very heart of our mission as an institution of higher education.
Now, to become a Hispanic Serving Institution, a University has to have an enrollment of undergraduate full-time students that is at least 25 percent Hispanic/Latinx. This fall, as the University celebrates the fact that our student body is at its highest diversity enrollment ever, we're also only a couple of percentage points from reaching the HSI threshold of 25 percent Hispanic/Latinx student enrollment.
Why is this so important? Becoming a Hispanic Serving Institution or HSI as it is also known, is at the very heart of our values is a public University that serves all Nevadans. We were founded in 1874 as the state's original land-grant institution. And with that founding has come the implicit promise that we will always provide access to all Nevadans … that we will reflect the diversity of our state … and that we will serve as a catalyst for what our state is becoming.
It is our mission to open the gates of opportunity of our University to communities that have been historically marginalized in our state. It is our vision to produce the leaders ... students from our Hispanic and Latinx communities who excel in all fields of endeavor in becoming our leaders of tomorrow ... that our state needs.
Right now, Nevada is the third most ethnically diverse state in the country. About 40 percent of the state’s citizens identify as Latino or Hispanic/Latinx.
This is the future of Nevada. And this is the future of the University of Nevada, Reno. Our HSI effort is enriching our understanding of Hispanic/Latinx culture. It's giving us all an opportunity to share with this Hispanic/Latinx community the community's values, history and perspectives. It's giving our University a new impetus to create degree pathways and areas of specialized study, scholarship and research that are of benefit to our Hispanic/Latinx communities … and our community at large. It allows our students—all of our students—to gain a diverse experience that reflects our ever-growing and increasingly diverse workplaces and career paths. We still have a lot of work to do. And make no mistake about it.
HSI is not an ending. It's not a finish line. Nor is it our ultimate destination.
The ultimate destination will be the hopes that were made whole, the dreams that became real, and the many futures of young people that were realized as they became our next proud generation of Hispanic/Latinx leaders. This is our promise to our Hispanic/Latinx communities during this Hispanic Heritage Month: HIS isn't a destination … It's the start of something that truly is going to change lives.
We invite everyone to join us in this effort. Happy Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month to all of you.
And Go Pack!