San Francisco–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–October 5, 2005–In 1975, TV’s hit show “Chico and the Man” featured Freddie Prinze as its lead actor, Rita Moreno received a Tony award for “The Ritz,” and the Voting Rights Act was amended to provide voting materials in Spanish. It was also the year the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) was founded. During the past 30 years, HSF, the nation’s leading organization supporting Hispanic higher education, has provided more than 73,000 scholarships to Latino students totaling $170 million. This year, HSF celebrates three decades of giving by inducting five Hispanic leaders, including four former HSF scholars, into its Alumni Hall of Fame. The honors will be bestowed tonight at a gala event at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, D.C.
The Alumni Hall of Fame was established to create role models for future generations of Hispanic college students, illustrating the possibilities offered by higher education and the mission and values of HSF. This year’s inductees are recognized for their achievements in business, education, science and research fields. Inductees being honored by HSF include:
— The Honorable Federico F. Peña, managing director at Vestar Capital Partners, grew up in the border town of Brownsville, Texas, and was the first in his family to attend college. Before joining Vestar, Pena served in two cabinet positions during the Clinton administration, as Secretary of both the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Transportation. He served as mayor of Denver from 1983 – 1991.
— Martin Curiel, management consultant and founder of the Rising Farmworker Dream Fund, spent the first 19 years of his life as a migrant farmworker before receiving his MBA at Harvard Business School. Last year, Curiel became one of eight individuals in the United States to hold both a master’s degree in business and the title of “farmworker.”
— Myra Blanco, Ph.D., research scientist at Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, attributes her success in receiving a Ph.D. in Human Factors Engineering to her mother’s perseverance and countless sacrifices as a single parent. Blanco is a mentor to minority engineering students.
— Elsa A. Murano, Ph.D., vice chancellor and dean of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University, was the U.S. Undersecretary of Agriculture during the first George W. Bush administration and the first Hispanic to hold this office.
— Luis A. Colon, Ph.D., professor of chemistry at the State University of New York at Buffalo, moved from his native Puerto Rico to complete his postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University. An accomplished scientist and scholar, Colon has dedicated his career to providing opportunities for traditionally underrepresented groups in science.
“We are proud to have provided scholarships for the past 30 years to deserving students, many of whom are first in their family to attend college,” said Sara Martinez Tucker, president and CEO of HSF. “This year’s HSF Alumni Hall of Fame event marks the incredible journey made by HSF, our inductees and our scholars, and to inspire others to seek an education.”
Celebrating its fourth year, the HSF Alumni Hall of Fame was created to showcase the inspiring stories of Hispanics who, through their accomplishments, contributions and lifetime challenges, demonstrate the power of higher education to change both individual lives and society. Awards are given in five categories that illustrate the accomplishments and attitudes of the recipients, including Inspirador, Triunfador, Brillante, Altruista, and Optimista.
The 2005 class joins the outstanding honorees of the previous three years, including Honorable Antonio Garza, Jr., U.S. ambassador to Mexico ( 2004 honoree); the Honorable Alberto Gonzales, U.S. Attorney General (2003 honoree); Lisa Quiroz, founder of People en Español (2002 honoree); and Dr. Richard Carmona, surgeon general of the United States (2002 honoree).
The 2005 HSF Alumni Hall of Fame is made possible through lead sponsors Procter & Gamble(R) and People En Español; partnerships with Anheuser Busch(R), ExxonMobil, Southwest Airlines(R), USA Funds(R) and UPS (TM); and the generous support from many other sponsoring companies and organizations.
About the Hispanic Scholarship Fund
The Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) is the nation’s leading organization supporting Hispanic higher education. Founded in 1975, HSF’s vision is to strengthen the country by advancing college education among Hispanic Americans, the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population. In support of its mission to double the rate of Hispanics earning college degrees, HSF has awarded more than 73,000 scholarships in excess of $170 million in its 30-year history. HSF has awarded scholarships to Latinos from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands who have attended more than 1,700 colleges and universities.