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Latino Cultural Center 10th Anniversary Celebration, 2012-2013

A group of students and faculty/staff gathered in 2002 to discuss the establishment of a Purdue office or center dedicated to Latino cultures. Momentum was growing over the year and letters were written. The goals included to provide a location, a home away from home, for students, faculty/staff, and alumni. Additionally, the location would be a place for scholarly and professional pursuits. And lastly, the location was intended to function as a resource and base for campus-wide programming. The Purdue Provost was presented with a proposal for a Latino Cultural Center to be established on campus. The Black Cultural Center's historical presence on campus had paved the way for this effort. With enormous support, the Latino Cultural Center (LCC) was established on April 11, 2003 at South Campus Courts, Building B on Harrison Street. The Provost’s leadership and dedication assisted the LCC to get started with a secretary, student staff, and faculty/staff volunteers. During this year, development of an LCC identity moved quickly. The “Todos Son Bienvenidos” (All Are Welcome) motto was adopted to help people understand that the LCC was not just for Latinos or for people who speak Spanish, but for everyone. For almost a year, the LCC successfully functioned without a director. Programming such as Día de los Muertos and Latino Heritage Month were established in the first year as part of the LCC’s goals. Another goal was to have artwork attached to the LCC. In the search for an artist, Eileen Garcia (MFA ’01) surfaced and provided several sketches of what would become the LCC mural, "Latin Dance, Music, Art, and Rhythm." The mural was completed in spring 2005.

In March 2004, Maricela Alvarado joined Purdue as the inaugural LCC director. The Latino Faculty/Staff Association (LaFaSA) at Purdue had been unofficially functioning since 2002, and became officially recognized with executive officers in 2005. The Purdue Latino Alumni Organization was also establishing the groundwork to make an official start, and rose to be recognized by the Purdue Alumni Association in fall of 2004. In 2006, the LCC was able to move to a larger, more centralized location at 600 N. Russell Street. With programs, services, and campus growth, this move was another step for Latino recognition and importance to the campus-wide community. In 2008, Christina Giles (B.S.B.A. ’09) dedicated another art piece to the LCC with a theme of fives through-out, honoring the LCC 5th year anniversary. The LCC currently oversees 15 Latino-based organizations and collaborates regularly with local and statewide organizations. The LCC is one of two Indiana state university Latino cultural centers. The LCC has been recognized as a national model for other campus Latino offices and centers.

Please Provide Suggestions:

In 2013, the LCC will be celebrating the 10th Anniversary. In honor of those who had the vision to write letters, approach administration, and continue to build on the mission and goals of Purdue’s Latino Cultural Center, you are invited to submit program ideas for the 2012-2013 academic year. Please send an email to Maricela Alvarado, alvaradm@purdue.edu or set up an appointment by calling (765) 494-2530.