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ASU's Hispanic Convocation celebrates 30-year anniversary

May 12, 2014

This Friday will "cap off" Arizona State University’s academic year, as well as mark the 30th anniversary of Hispanic Convocation.

“This year is especially significant because we are paying tribute to our convocation history while celebrating academic achievement in a festive cultural environment shared with family and friends,” said Rhonda Carrillo, assistant director in the Office of Community Relations.

The 30th anniversary celebration will honor 350 students and will include live mariachis and the original Hispanic Convocation committee, who will march in this year’s procession. David Lopez, an original committee member and an attorney with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Washington D.C., will make opening remarks. Jose Ronstadt, a long-time supporter of Hispanic Convocation, will emcee.

The first Hispanic Convocation was held on May 12, 1984, and honored 49 participants. It was held off campus in the Town of Guadalupe.

“It was an idea whose time had come. Across every community in Arizona, our Latino families were struggling to get our kids into higher levels of education,” said Greg Acedo, a student chair on the first Hispanic Convocation three decades ago. “The original student leaders who helped drive this event to fruition had no idea what a beautiful legacy and tradition would be created at our university.”

By 2007, the convocation had introduced the Congressman Ed Pastor Outstanding Graduate Student award and the Jose Ronstadt Outstanding Undergraduate Student award to recognize the extraordinary achievements of two ASU graduates. Pastor and Ronstadt were instrumental in their support and involvement with the inception of the first Hispanic Convocation and will be in attendance for this year’s ceremony.

“ASU's Hispanic Convocation has grown into a signature event that continues to inspire and support Latinos pursuing their higher education,” Pastor said. “I've been an ardent supporter of higher education and I'm proud to see the Hispanic Convocation thriving as it marks its 30th anniversary.”

ASU enrolled just over 76,000 students across its four campuses at the beginning of the fall 2013 semester. Of that total, close to 14,000 were Hispanic undergraduates and graduate students. Their academic achievements are supported by more than 1,300 Hispanic faculty and staff at the university.

The ASU Office of Public Affairs is inviting the media to attend the spring 2014 Hispanic Convocation ceremony. The ceremony takes place at 9 a.m., May 16, at Wells Fargo Arena, 600 E. Veterans Way, Tempe.