OLLU receives $250,000 to continue first-generation and Hispanic student initiatives

Carlos Alvarez has pledged $250,000 to provide continued funding for programs that serve first-generation and Hispanic university students through OLLU’s Higher Education for a New America (HENA) initiative.

Through this initiative OLLU seeks to become a national model by building on its strengths as a Hispanic-serving institution through special attention to the recruitment, retention and ultimate graduation of all the students it serves. Special programs funded through HENA include OLLU’s Center for Mexican American Studies and Research (CMASR) and the revitalized Comparative Mexican American Studies Program.

This is the second gift Mr. Alvarez has provided for the HENA initiative through his Impetus Foundation. His first gift, also $250,000, was donated in 2010 to launch HENA.

In a letter to OLLU President Sister Jane Ann Slater, CDP, PhD, announcing the gift, Alvarez stated he was doing so to “honor your service and dedication during your presidency.”

“This generous gift will support student, faculty, and staff involvement in curricular and extracurricular cultural programming, international and bilingual programs, as well as research and community engagement,” said Dr. Ezequiel Peña, director of the CMASR.

The gift was presented during the Sister Jane Ann Slater Tribute Dinner held at the Omni Hotel on June 16. The event helped raise more than $170,000 toward an endowment in the name of Sister Slater, who will be stepping down as president next month to become the chancellor of the Archdiocese of San Antonio.