Latinx Resource Center marks historic moment
“As president, I could not be more proud to cut the ribbon on this new center,’’ said GovState President Cheryl Green. “It represents years of advocacy by (those) who believed in the importance on creating a dedicated space for Latinx students and it ushers in a new chapter at Governors State University as we strive to foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive campus for all members,’’ said President Cheryl Green, whose vision for social justice included the LRC opening.
Envisioned to serve as a “home away from home” for GovState’s growing Hispanic student population, the center will help the university grow its base to 25% student enrollment, which is required for a federal designation.
Today, GovSate is one of 26 emerging Hispanic Serving Institutions (eHSI) in the state, however Juan Andrade, Jr. said it will soon be promoted to join 31 full Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs).
“With this leadership, this university will be the next university in Illinois to be a designated Hispanic Serving Institution,’’ said Andrade, president of United States Hispanic Leadership Institute (USHLI) whose mission, in part, is to fulfill the promises and principles of democracy by promoting education and leadership development.
A life-long social justice advocate, Andrade said he was grateful to witness the opening at GovState.
“This is a historic moment. You are putting forward a giant step, and I commend you for your boldness,’’ said Andrade, who received an honorary doctorate from GovState in 2008.
Andrade commended GovState’s leadership, especially Emmanuel Lopez the inaugural director of the LRC.
Born in Harvey and having lived in Glenwood for most of his life, Lopez was named to lead the center in 2023 after first serving as an admissions recruiter. Lopez thanked Paul McGuinness, Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.
“You saw the potential in me. This was not just a promotion – not just my first director’s position. This is my dream job, Paul. … You granted me that opportunity to fulfill what is my American dream.”