Thursday, October 18, 2012 (Bronx, NY) – Possibly the “Jewel of the South Bronx” never shined more brightly than it did on September 30, when Eugenio María de Hostos Community College joined the rest of the community for our 45th Anniversary Homecoming Celebration. Held in conjunction with the ¡Viva Bronx! Festival, the day included a series of events and activities throughout the college and in the vicinity of 500 Grand Concourse.
In what has become a highlight of Hostos Homecomings, the Domino Tournament drew a large crowd to the college cafeteria. Held in partnership with the World’s Domino Congress and Galos Corporation, the tournament included over 50 players. Galos president and Hostos Alumnus Carlos Velázquez and Hostos Vice President of Institutional Advancement Ana Carrión-Silva were on hand to welcome the players and cheer them on.
The top five finishers were Francisco Almánzar, Sandy Ruíz, Juan Reynoso, Félix Soriano, and Angel Cedeño.
And whether it was volleyball, soccer or basketball, alumni and other member of Hostos Community College’s extended family played their hearts out in “The Swamp.” The afternoon of fun, and some serious games, drew nearly 50 competitors.
Hostos Athletic teams were also busy leading up to Homecoming. The Caimans men’s soccer team got the weekend off to a good start by beating Orange County Community College 2-0 on Friday. The Caimans women’s volleyball team kept things going on Saturday, taking one of two in a double-header with Ulster County Community College and Dutchess Community College.
What better way could there be for Hostos to mark an historic milestone and celebrate its connection to the arts and the Hispanic community than to bring in the work of Puerto Rican artist José Buscaglia? His exhibit, “Puerto Rico in its Labyrinth, Chronicles of a Country and a World in Crisis,” was recently unveiled in the Longwood Gallery at Hostos. The exhibit by the celebrated Puerto Rican artist, educator and social scientist will be on display until December 8.
The exhibit consists of 30 new paintings and four sculptures that comment on the legacy of colonialism and the history of oppression in the Caribbean, the Americas and Africa. Buscaglia has produced over 40 monuments in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the United States.
On November 14, Buscaglia will also participate in an open conversation at Hostos about his life and work with the renowned scholar Arcadio Díaz-Quiñones.
Hundreds of people enjoyed a free BBQ, music, shopping and more as the college’s back parking lot became the site for a street party.
There was even a 45th Anniversary Homecoming Talent Show, which was won by Hostos alumna Karinel Santana, who blew the audience away with her stunning vocal performance. Arts and craft booths also lined the street, and although the skies appeared threatening for a few minutes, the clouds dissipated as the Homecoming Parade got underway at 3:00 p.m. Members of the college’s extended family walked the route from the C-Parking Lot, up 149th Street and down the Grand Concourse to the stage. Under a bright blue sky, alumni, faculty, students and community members reveled in the moment, waved to the crowd, and celebrated their connection to the College.
Christiana Nyanteh graduated from Hostos with an A.A. in liberal arts in 2007. She started her Homecoming on Friday night at the launch of the Alumni Speakers Bureau created by Nydia Edgecombe, the director of the college’s Alumni Relations office. Nyanteh, who works at a nearby hospital, said she was honored to be asked to donate her time and share her expertise if called upon.
Nyanteh’s family immigrated to the United States from West Africa. She was the first member of her family to attend college and said Hostos remains a special place for her.
The Alumni Speakers Bureau was formed so that alumni can give motivational presentations about their academic and professional achievements, and the leadership opportunities that came their way because of the exceptional education they received at Hostos and at other institutions of higher education.
Another alumna, Jeanette García, also came back to reconnect with her Hostos family. She graduated in 2010 and is studying law at Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA. García’s Hostos story is a unique one that keeps the college close to her heart. Her father worked at Hostos and her parents met here in the 1980s. García said she spent a lot of time on campus as a child, and it was a no-brainer for her to enroll when she was old enough. The 27-year-old aspiring civil rights attorney still has family and friends either working or studying at Hostos. “I like coming back. I don’t get back as much as I’d like to, but it’s always is great to see everyone.”
The parade ended, at a stage where several Grand Marshals joined Hostos President Félix V. Matos Rodríguez.
The Homecoming Godmother was Rudilania Hulse. When she started her educational journey at Hostos in 1996, Ms. Hulse spoke very little English. Showing a great deal of determination and persistence, she graduated in 1998 with a degree in public administration. As a student, she participated in the work study program, where she acquired practical skills in the Financial Aid Office and the Office of The Dean of Academic Affairs.
Ms. Hulse currently works as a case manager for the Thorpe Family Residence, helping young females go back to school and find employment and permanent housing. She is a member of the community group, Mirabar Sisters Community Organization, and a member of the PTA for the New Heights Academy Charter School.
Hostos Professor Cynthia Jones, Hostos’ Jason Libfeld, and alumna Saudy Tejada served as Grand Marshals, and William Aguado and Kathi Pavlick were named the Donors’ Godfather and Godmother.
Hostos President Matos Rodríguez called homecoming a “wonderful chance for alumni to reconnect” and thanked everyone for their support. “This is a special occasion not because it’s our Homecoming, but also a celebration of the College’s 45th Anniversary. It’s a great time to recognize our past partnership with the South Bronx, as well what we’re doing now and all we plan to do in the next 45 years.”
About Hostos Community College:
Eugenio María de Hostos Community College, part of The City University of New York (CUNY) system, was founded in 1968. In addition to associate degree programs that facilitate easy transfer to CUNY’s four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions, Hostos also has an award-winning Division of Continuing Education and Workforce Development that offers courses for professional development and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. In four decades, Hostos has grown from a class of 623 in 1970 to more than 7,000 students in 2012. The College also serves an additional 12,000 students through its Division of Continuing Education and Workforce Development. For more news and stories about Hostos Community College, visit www.hostos.cuny.edu.
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