Bienvenidos a Casa

This month we continue our observance of Latinx Heritage Month and the rich cultural traditions people of Hispanic and Latin American heritage bring to our nation and the Cal Lutheran community. While our goal is to be inclusive in our teaching and learning year-around, this month allows for concerted reflection on Latina/o/x cultures, contributions, and opportunities. As an HSI, our charge includes helping to ensure the academic success of students from historically marginalized communities through our U.S. Department of Education-sponsored Title III and V grants and shared beliefs.

Discovering Talents Through HSI Grants

A Title V grant funds one of our campus initiatives, Project CHESS, which empowers young men of color attending Cal Lutheran and Moorpark College. Project CHESS has had a significant impact on its student participants, including Jesus Raya, a senior in the College dual majoring in philosophy and political science. In “Building a Brotherhood,” Jesus reveals how the relationships he made in the program prompted him to discover his interests and lay the foundation for his advocacy work with those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. 

“There are a lot of ways to continue my activism through scholarship. I hope to find myself with an academic career in philosophy or law, where I can work as a professor and write about the challenges facing my community and respond with normative ways of overcoming these challenges,” he says.

Through Project CHESS and other HSI programs, students like Jesus have a hospitable place to interact with their peers who share similar experiences. They exercise teamwork and further develop attributes that enhance not only their experience at Cal Lutheran, but also that of their fellow students, faculty, and staff. These programs support DEI initiatives and facilitate cultural awareness in our community. 

Homecoming – A Return to a Familiar Place 

At Cal Lutheran, Homecoming will take place the weekend of October 22-24. This year’s festivities offer myriad ways for community members to celebrate their Cal Lutheran pride, including the dedication of the new Swenson Science Center, live performances of The Bald Soprano, virtual, TED Talk-inspired faculty presentations, and sporting events to cheer on the Regals and Kingsmen. 

Homecoming is a special time, particularly this year, because the College’s faculty, staff, and administrators welcomed students back to on-campus classes and activities that the pandemic significantly curtailed over the past 18 months. We are thrilled to interact with students and alums in person, following safety protocols, to see them gain new knowledge, insights, and interests both in and outside the classroom.   

Homecoming can be traced back to the mid-19th Century when college and university football teams hosted alumni games. Many institutions of higher learning profess to have held the first homecoming game, but Jeopardy! and Trivial Pursuit bestow the recognition on the University of Missouri. In 1911, that university’s athletic director invited alumni to “come home” for the Tigers’ game against the University of Kansas Jayhawks. 

This tradition continues today at universities and colleges across the country. Here at Cal Lutheran, Homecoming represents a time to (re)connect with students and alumni to enjoy Kingsmen football and other events and strengthen our community.

The meaning of homecoming extends beyond football. Merriam Webster defines it as “a return home.” It reminds us of going back to a place of familiarity, where we learned valuable lessons and literally and figuratively developed. On a return home, we meet with family and friends and often reminisce about collective experiences that influenced our lives. 

For many, home represents a place of comfort filled with cherished memories. We may recall how we discovered our love of literature, reading, or science when we go back to the place where we grew up, or holidays and special times spent with parents, siblings, and extended family members. Aside from being a physical location, home exemplifies a feeling of belonging and a setting where we feel welcome, understood, and free to share our thoughts and ideas with others. 

The College continually strives to create a home – physically and metaphorically – for students, alumni, faculty, staff, administrators, and community partners. In class, faculty share knowledge, and students demonstrate their understanding and build on it through coursework and firsthand experiences. Our core values remind us of the importance of diversity, inclusiveness, regard, and other principles that guide us in our service to students, the community, and the greater world.

Throughout Homecoming Weekend, and the remainder of the year, we understand the significance of creating a place where community members feel a sense of belonging and a location to interact and grow. This belonging provides us with the comfort that we encounter at a familiar locale…like home. 


Hispanic Heritage Month

LGBT History Month

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

World Mental Health Day – Oct. 10

Indigenous People’s Day, National Coming Out Day – Oct. 11