Jersey City, N.J. – September 6, 2023 – Saint Peter’s University is proud to announce the institution’s 25th anniversary as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), a designation given by the U.S. Department of Education to accredited public or private nonprofit institutions of higher education where Hispanic or Latino/a/x students compose 25 percent or more of full-time undergraduate enrollment. The anniversary marks a significant milestone in the University’s commitment to diversity, equity and excellence in education. Celebrations to honor the milestone will begin during National HSI Week, which is observed this year September 11-15 at the start of Hispanic Heritage Month.
In 1998, Saint Peter’s was the first to attain HSI status among private colleges and universities in New Jersey and the first among all of the 27 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States. Today 47 percent of the full-time undergraduate population of Saint Peter’s is Hispanic, hailing from 13 Latin American countries.
The University established a HSI 25th Anniversary Task Force comprised of faculty, students, administrators, staff and alumni. The Task Force was charged with identifying opportunities to showcase the historical and cultural significance of HSI status, recognize contributions of students, faculty, staff and alumni of Hispanic heritage, enhance pride and promote the University as a leading HSI.
“This milestone anniversary of Saint Peter’s becoming a HSI is more than a celebration of who we are and have been as a HSI,” said Jennifer Ayala, Ph.D., professor, director of Latin American and Latino Studies and co-chair of the HSI 25th Anniversary Task Force. “It is an opportunity to imagine what else we can do and be for this community.”
Events planned during National HSI Week include:
September 11 – Panepinto Plaza, noon – HSI Banner Unveiling
September 13 – St. Aedan’s: The Saint Peter’s University Church, 11:00 a.m. – The annual Mass of the Holy Spirit will include Spanish music and prayers. The campus picnic after Mass will feature Latin food and a special HSI anniversary dessert.
September 14 – The Duncan Family Sky Room – Storytelling through Afro-Puerto Rican Folkloric dance featuring Segunda Quimbaba. This event is followed by a mini-parade led by the student organization LASO.
September 17 – The Duncan Family Sky Room, 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – TRansformative EXperience (TREX) Celebration Brunch – The TREX Program provides opportunities for students in STEM majors to engage in paid internships that also count for academic credit. The program was established in 2018 with support from the National Science Foundation’s Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program. Since its inception TREX has placed more than 200 students in hands-on positions. This brunch brings together current students and alumni who participated in the TREX program, along with the grant team.
Additional programming and events will be held throughout the academic year that celebrate the distinctions and achievements Saint Peter’s has attained since achieving the HSI milestone. Some highlights include:
- $17 million harnessed in federal HSI grants that advance technology, STEM programs, internships and experiential learning opportunities for Hispanic and low-income students.
- Creation of affordability initiatives for community college graduates to attain bachelor’s degrees.
- Recognized by Excelencia in Education in 2019 as a national finalist for the Seal of Excelencia.
To learn more, please visit saintpeters.edu/hsi.
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For more than 150 years, Saint Peter’s University, inspired by its Jesuit, Catholic identity, commitment to individual attention and grounding in the liberal arts, educates a diverse community of learners in undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and professional programs to excel intellectually, lead ethically, serve compassionately and promote justice in our ever-changing urban and global environment. To learn more, please visit www.saintpeters.edu.