The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) has chosen Sacramento State President Alexander Gonzalez for membership in its Hall of Champions, which honors individuals who have transformed and expanded opportunities for Hispanic students.
HACU represents more than 400 colleges and universities in the United States, Puerto Rico, Latin America and Spain. It is the only U.S. educational association that represents Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs).
Gonzalez, who served as chair of HACU’s Governing Board and worked to establish the Western regional office in Sacramento, will be inducted into the Hall of Champions in October at the association’s annual conference in Denver.
“HACU has advanced social progress, equality and economic prosperity for Hispanics and has helped to unlock the enormous potential of students locally and throughout the world,” Gonzalez says. “I view this honor as a tribute to the thousands of students who have gone on to make a positive difference thanks to HACU’s work. I hope it will inspire others to embrace the noblest ideals of higher education in our nation.”
Gonzalez is a longtime champion of Hispanics in higher education. For example, he partnered with the Mexican consul general in Sacramento, local elected leaders and Univision to launch Feria de Educación, an education fair that helps Spanish-speaking families navigate California’s education system all the way from K-12 through the community college and university levels. The second annual Feria will be held Saturday, Aug. 23, at Sacramento State. More than 6,500 people attended last year’s inaugural event.
He also has expanded the role of Sacramento State’s Serna Center, which focuses on Hispanic education, service and policy issues. The center is named for the late Joe Serna, who was a professor of government at the University and a longtime Sacramento mayor, and for his wife, Isabel Hernandez-Serna, who was a faculty member and administrator at Sacramento State.
Gonzalez was appointed by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to serve on the California Student Aid Commission and, earlier this year, appeared before the California Senate to seek increased state financial aid opportunities for undocumented students.
The President’s efforts have been widely recognized. In 2012, the Mexican government presented him with an Ohtli Award, its highest honor for leaders of Mexican descent. It recognized his efforts to pave the way for and improve the well-being of new generations of Mexicans in California.
The Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce honored Gonzalez in 2009 as Business Man of the Year. The award is presented to an individual who has attained or contributed to business excellence through “consistent leadership qualities and service to the Hispanic community” and who models “best practices in programs or services that promote the growth of Hispanic businesses.”
Additionally, Gonzalez was named one of the country’s “Top 100 Influentials” by Hispanic Business Magazine.
Agnes Mojica, chancellor of the University of Puerto Rico, San German campus, will be inducted into HACU’s Hall of Champions alongside Gonzalez.
"HACU is honored to recognize Chancellor Agnes Mojica and President Alexander Gonzalez, two remarkable individuals who have devoted their careers to enhancing opportunities for students and have been tireless champions for Hispanic higher education success," says HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores.
For media assistance, contact Sacramento State’s Office of Public Affairs at (916) 278-6156. – Dixie Reid