USF World News

USF World Celebrates Hispanic Heritage
August 23, 2012

Observing a 44 year old national tradition, the University of South Florida will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with a kick-off event on Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 5:00 PM at the Marshall Center Ballroom. The event is open to all.

Hispanic Heritage Kick Off Event

Initially a reception for Latino faculty and staff, the Kick-Off Celebration was first held in 1989 at the Green and Gold Room in the USF Sun Dome. Gradually the event transformed into an award ceremony that recognizes undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff and community members for academic research and/or community engagement. While undergraduate recipients receive a modest monetary award, individuals in other categories are awarded a plaque recognizing their efforts within the Latino community.

Each year National Hispanic Heritage Month takes place from September 15 to October 15. The month celebrates the history, culture and contributions of Americans whose heritage comes from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. This one month time-frame further signifies the anniversary of independence of Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico and Chile.

The event is organized by Status of Latinos (SOL), a presidential advisory committee, and is sponsored by companies like State Farm Insurance and university departments including USF World, the USF Graduate School and INTO USF. Apart from the kick-off event, SOL also puts together a calendar of Hispanic Heritage events and activities organized by student groups across campus. 

Here’s some trivia on the history of Hispanic Heritage celebration at USF:

  • The Hispanic Heritage Committee was in place by 1991and the event came to be called Que Pasa USF.
  • The USF Latinos Association was founded in 1993 as an automous organization which was active in addressing Latino matters at USF and continued to organize the Hispanic Heritage Celebration event.
  • The event’s name was changed from Que Pasa USF to the USF Hispanic Heritage Celebration event-Fiesta in 2002.
  • The event’s name was changed to USF Hispanic Heritage Celebration Kickoff in 2004.
  •  The current Status of Latinos (SOL) Committee became a Presidential Advisory Council in 2010.