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HOSTOS COMMUNITY COLLEGE LECTURE LEGACY SERIES PRESENTS

THE HISTORY OF HOSTOS COMMUNITY COLLEGE: THE HEROIC YEARS, 1973-1978
LECTURE BY PROFESSOR GERALD MEYER WITH RESPONDENT, WALLACE EDGECOMBE

Monday, April 16, 2011 (Bronx, NY)- The Hostos Legacy Series, spearheaded by the Center for Teaching and Learning, brings to life the legacy of Hostos, the institution and the man, from the beginning to the current purpose of the College in the South Bronx Community.  The Legacy Series will inform the historical context during which Hostos was founded and the College's contribution to the larger community. Professor Gerald Meyer, alongside respondent Wallace Edgecombe, will lecture The Heroic Years,1973-1978. The event will take place on Wednesday, April 18th at the Hostos Art Gallery and will begin promptly at 12:30PM.

Dr. Gerald J. Meyer will lecture on La Lucha de Hostos (The Struggle for Hostos), which mobilized the College and the communities Hostos serves. The movement won the 500 Building for the College, and most importantly, forced the Board of Higher Education to reverse its decision of April 4, 1976 to close Hostos.

Dr. Gerald Meyer indicated that, “The successes of the five-year-long movement that began in 1973 until 1978 contains a powerful lesson. When the people unite in a common struggle it's possible to defend, and even broaden, democracy."

Eugenio María de Hostos Community College first offered classes in the fall of 1970 in the heart of what was then defined as the South Bronx.  From fall 1973 until spring 1979 Hostos was the site of the most prolonged and successful mass movement of the 1970s in New York City. During that five-year period, students, staff, faculty, and community members mobilized three massive year-long campaigns:

  • 1973-1974 obtained the 500 Grand Concourse Building;
  • 1975-1976 prevented the closing of Hostos;
  • 1977-1978 secured the funds for the conversion of the 500 Building.

These campaigns constituted a successful, single mass movement that prevented the College from closing while also securing the facilities that have allowed the Hostos to carry its mission forward. The success of the “Save Hostos” movement depended upon a combination of tactics that effectively politicized the campus and attracted widespread support from both the leadership and the residents of the communities Hostos serves.

The willingness of those within and outside the Hostos campus to commit themselves to this movement—and in some instances risk arrest—reflected the degree to which Hostos embodied a concrete achievement in their fight against discrimination, as well as their fight for bilingual education.

The “Save Hostos” movement brought together a wide variety of groups: the Hostos Chapter of the Professional Staff Congress, the Student Government Organization, and student clubs—the Federación Universitarios Socialistas Puertorriqueños, the Dominican Club, the Puerto Rican Club, and the Christian Club among others. The success of the “Save Hostos” movement demonstrated the potential of mass movements to achieve social, educational, and economic goals.

The Heroic Years, 1973-1978 Lecture, is made possible thanks to a partnership between the Center for Teaching and Learning, Hostos students, staff, faculty, alumni, and is sponsored by the Office of Academic Affairs.

For more information on the Hostos Legacy Series please contact:
William, Casari
718.518.4220.
wcasari@hostos.cuny.edu

RSVP required: ctl@hostos.cuny.edu

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 Professional Studies that offers courses for professional development and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. In four decades, Hostos has grown from a class of 623 in the fall of 1970 to the spring 2012 enrollment of over 7,000 students.  The college also serves an additional 10,000 students through its Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies. For more news and stories about Hostos Community College, visit www.hostos.cuny.edu.

Media Contact:
Ana M. Carrión - amcarrion@hostos.cuny.edu
Soldanela Rivera - srlopez@hostos.cuny.edu
Phone: 718-518-6872 or 917-627-9097

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