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MOTHER OF FIRST HISPANIC TO SERVE ON THE US SUPREME COURT IS AN ALUMNA OF HOSTOS COMMUNITY COLLEGE

Eugenio María de Hostos Community College, a two-year school of The City University of New York (CUNY), was created in 1968 in response to demands from a group of diverse leaders of the South Bronx, which at the time was plagued with every form of urban decay.  Hostos soon became a beacon of hope for community residents who were seeking educational opportunities that would lead to intellectual growth and socioeconomic mobility. One such individual was Mrs. Celina Sotomayor, mother of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, who the US Senate confirmed on Thursday, August 6, 2009 as the first Hispanic and third woman to serve on the US Supreme Court.  Her mother, Mrs. Celina Sotomayor, graduated from Hostos Community College in 1973 with an associate's degree in nursing.

Hostos Community College Alumna, Mrs. Celina Sotomayor

"We are very proud to share this true Bronx tale with the world," said Dr. Felix Matos Rodríguez, new President of Hostos. "The story of how a small community college in the South Bronx transformed the life of Mrs. Celina Sotomayor and her family resonates in the lives of thousands of individuals who have graduated from Hostos since its establishment in 1968; as we tell our students, Hostos is ‘where your future begins.'"

At the time she enrolled at Hostos, Mrs. Sotomayor was a widow faced with the challenge of supporting two children on her own.  With a degree in nursing, she was able to provide for her daughter and son, as well as to pay their tuition for parochial schools.  Like his sister, Juan Sotomayor has had a distinguished career.  He graduated from CUNY’s Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education at City College in 1979. He is now a physician and university professor.

The Sotomayor family placed a great value on higher education. In a written statement issued in May 29, 2009, CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein said: “Judge Sotomayor’s mother, Celina, benefited from the nursing program at the City University of New York’s Hostos Community College, which had then only recently been opened, and advanced her professional aspirations, graduating in 1973.  CUNY has historically created new educational options for the sons and daughters of its graduates. Celina Sotomayor and her son, Juan, a graduate of City College's Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education and daughter, a graduate of Princeton University and Yale Law School, are wonderful examples of the doors opened through quality public higher education."

In recent years, Eugenio María de Hostos Community College has experienced a very positive transformation. With over 5,000 students, innovative leadership at every level, and a faculty committed to excellence, the college provides an intellectually rich learning environment with high academic standards. In addition to new programs and renovated facilities, the college has significantly improved its technological resources and hired more full-time faculty with the highest degrees in their fields.

For more news and events about Hostos Community College, visit www.hostos.cuny.edu.

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