Celebrating HSI Week and Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month

Dear Students, Staff, and Faculty,

As a Hispanic Serving Institution, we are recognizing HSI Week today through Friday along with other HSI designated colleges and universities across the nation. And on Thursday, we usher in a month-long celebration honoring Latinx/Hispanic Heritage. From September 15 to October 15, we will celebrate the histories, cultures, and contributions of the Latinx/Hispanic community in the United States. The observation started in 1968 and was enacted into law in 1988. The first day of the annual celebration, September 15th, is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

At Cal Lutheran, over 40% of our student body is Latinx, so coming together to celebrate HSI Week and Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month is particularly important and relevant here. Campus events celebrating both HSI Week and Latinx/Heritage Month support and align with our University mission and values of diversity, inclusion, and educating leaders for a global society.  

This year’s activities and educational programs are being co-sponsored by the Office of Talent, Culture, and Diversity and the Center for Cultural Engagement and Inclusion who are working in partnership with Mission and Identity, Pearson Library, Sodexo, the Latinx Employee Group, student groups, and various other departments across campus. We are grateful to the students and colleagues in all of these departments and groups for leaning into the “serving” part of being an HSI. Their combined efforts have brought forth the impressive array of programs and services described in this flyer of events.

With its Fiesta in Kingsmen Park, dancing, music, traditional food, inspiring speakers, and more, Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month has become one of Cal Lutheran’s institutional signature events. It has something for everyone. The month-long festivities conclude on October 20th when Jose Hernandez shares the story of his journey from migrant farmworker to NASA astronaut. You won’t want to miss this amazing story.

It’s a good time to be at California Lutheran University — to be a part of the real efforts and the real change that will make us a stronger, healthier, and more connected community.

Moving forward together,

Lori E. Varlotta, Ph.D.


  • U.S. Latino economic output tops $3 trillion for the first time
    September 13, 2023

    Latinos in the United States continue to drive the economy forward — as they’ve been doing since the 1500s.

  • Center for Economic Research and Forecasting wins Latino Leadership Award
    July 28, 2023
  • Fellowship makes new voices heard on injustice
    December 19, 2022

    The ASCENSO fellows went inside our local government to study issues confronting Ventura County Latinos.

  • Cal Lutheran Upward Bound gets $3.6M
    June 17, 2022

    The U.S. Department of Education awarded California Lutheran University more than $3.6 million to continue and expand its TRIO Traditional Upward Bound services for high school students in Oxnard, Hawthorne and Lawndale.

  • Graduate, Professionals ceremony slated
    April 28, 2022

    California Lutheran University will hold its 2022 Graduate and Professionals Commencement at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 14. 

  • Cal Lutheran gets its largest NSF grant
    March 24, 2022

    California Lutheran University received its largest National Science Foundation grant to date — $307,486 for a biologist and her students to study sexual selection in tiny Brazilian squirrel monkeys.

  • Cal Lutheran receives $1.4M federal grant
    August 18, 2021

    The U.S. Department of Education has awarded California Lutheran University a five-year $1.39 million grant to help lower the high school dropout rate in South Oxnard and increase the number of students who enter and graduate from college.

  • Cal Lutheran starts Spanish media minor
    July 28, 2021

    During the fall semester, California Lutheran University will launch a Spanish media minor — the only one at a private college in Southern California — to help fill the need for bilingual journalists who understand Latino culture.

  • Cal Lutheran selects chief diversity officer
    July 9, 2021

    Cristallea K. Buchanan, the head of inclusion and diversity for American Honda Motor Co., will be the inaugural vice president for talent, culture and diversity for California Lutheran University.

  • State approves bilingual teaching program
    May 5, 2021

    As the result of a rare interdisciplinary collaboration between undergraduate and graduate programs, California Lutheran University has become one of the first institutions in California where undergraduate students can begin earning their bilingual teaching authorization through coursework.