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First Hostos Community College Alumni Reunion in Puerto Rico

On November 6, 2009, President Félix V. Matos Rodríguez and Nydia Edgecombe, Director of Alumni Relations, joined dozens of Hostos alumni, former professors, and their friends and families at the first Hostos Community College Alumni Reunion in Puerto Rico. This event was held at El Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Puerto Rico y el Caribe in Old San Juan.

Dr. Miguel Rodríguez Lopez, the President of El Centro, welcomed President Matos Rodríguez and greeted the audience. “It is an honor for us to host the First Hostos Alumni Reunion in Puerto Rico.”

President Matos Rodríguez’ presentation, “El Hostos de Hoy” (Today’s Hostos), was a comprehensive overview on the current status of the college. “I am very happy to report that currently we have 6,187 students enrolled, the highest number ever in the college’s history.”

First Hostos Community College Alumni Reunion in Puerto RicoThe Centro Theater rang with applause when President Matos Rodríguez mentioned that Celina Sotomayor, the mother of the U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, is a proud graduate of the Hostos Nursing Program (class of 1973) and that Justice Sotomayor is scheduled to be the guest speaker at the college’s commencement ceremony in June 2010.

President Matos Rodriguez’ presentation was followed by a lively exchange of questions and answers. The members of the Organizing Committee (Comité Timón) in Puerto Rico were Consuelo Corretjer, a former-assistant dean of students; Prof. Manolo Febres, a friend and community organizer from the original SAVE Hostos committee; Ivan (Billyvan) Santiago Rodríguez, a former student; Carmen Lopez Maldonado, an Hostos alumna from the class of 1973; Iraida Cintron Dillan, Public Relations; Jesse Vazquez, a friend of Hostos; and Ana Bajana, a well-known singer and performer.

Dr. Lizette Carrillo, the Dean of Administration at the Centro de Estudios, was instrumental in securing the space and assisting with the logistics for the reunion. Through the efforts of Leo Tizol, the event was sponsored by Coca Cola and Cava Serralles in Puerto Rico.

The group enjoyed the wonderful music and voice of Ana Bajana and the excellent food of El Dorado Catering in the lovely courtyard of El Centro.

Carmen Vega-Rivera, a member of the Hostos Community College Foundation, also greeted the audience and encouraged participants to keep in touch with the institution and to support current students through donations to the Circle of 100. Coordinated by the Hostos Alumni Relations Office, this membership group raises funds to provide emergency grants to students who are experiencing financial hardships.

Juanita Garcia, an Hostos alumna (Class of 1987) residing in Puerto Rico, expressed her gratitude for the outreach efforts coordinated by the Hostos Alumni Relations Office. “I am touched by this reunion and by having my Alma Mater hold this event in such a beautiful location. I am looking forward to helping organize next year’s “Reencuentro in Puerto Rico.”

Among others, the following alumni attended the reunion: Avida Perez (Class of 1999), Radames Santos Morales (Class of 1974), Ivette Burgos (Class of 1987), Carlos Velasquez (Class of 1976), and Mirta Osorio (Class of 1985).

“Hostos Community College will continue hosting alumni reunions across the United States, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and other Latin American Countries from where Hostos alumni come from,” said Edgecombe. “Next reunion events will be announced on our website www.hostos.cuny.edu. Stay tune!”

First Hostos Community College Alumni Reunion in Puerto Rico

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