Latino Alumni Society Members Sponsor First Reception
The Latino Alumni Society and Hispanic Heritage Month Committee hosted a reception at the UA Alumni house to conclude the Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations.
“The reception was to thank and honor Hispanic Heritage Month volunteers, students that volunteered for the many events hosted for Hispanic Heritage Month such as Campus Day, Manos Unidas, and Plaza de las Americas” said Luis Fernando Restrepo, Spanish professor, assistant vice provost for diversity and president of the Latino Alumni Society (LAS).
Also recognized were Tyson Foods and Cox Communication for their support to the events held during Hispanic Heritage Month and individuals who left a legacy were also recognized, Restrepo said.
The Legacy Awards were presented to Robert E. Frans and Paul R. Noland for their partnerships with both Bolivia and Panama and their constant work with the Hispanic community.
Frans was executive director of Partners of the Americas which worked with Bolivian students to attend the UA and also helped establish the Maria Teresa de Frans scholarship fund.
Noland helped create contact with the UA and Panama in 1951.
The Outstanding Supporter recognition award went to Partners of the Americas Program. The Partners of the Americas Program was a program started in the 1960s’ by President Kennedy as a people to people collaboration, Restrepo said.
“This is the first reception that we do for the Latino Alumni Society,” Restrepo said. The reception was held at the Janelle Y. Hembree Alumni House on Oct.21 and about 50 people were in attendance. During the event classical music of Latin America was performed by Catalina Ortega, a flute instructor at the UA, and Andrew Thompson on the guitar.
“I thought it was a very nice way to not only thank and recognize but also to inform about the Latino Alumni Society” said Brande Flack-Armstrong, assistant director of education and leadership.
At the reception current students and alumni where invited and learned more about the Latino Alumni Society. A majority of the students in attendance had volunteered for Hispanic Heritage Month events. The society needs 100 more members to officially be a part of the Arkansas Alumni Association.
“Here soon I’m going to be an alumni and that will for sure be something that I’ll want to do,” Jeanette Arnhart, doctoral student in Interdisciplinary Hispanic studies.
“I’m really proud to know that there are people that really care so much,” Arnhart said. “It says a lot for the university and it says a lot for the Hispanic past and future.”
“I thought it was a very lovely event and I was very glad they had that event,”Flack-Armstrong said.
The Latino Alumni Society was created to promote the Latino student population and encourage the students to succeed. In promoting the development of Latino students at the UA the LAS is working on scholarships for Latino students. This was the first reception sponsored by the Latino Alumni Society.