Celebrate the rich heritage and contributions of Hispanics and Latinx communities to the United States during National Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 – October 15, 2021. This year’s theme is “ESPERANZA: A CELEBRATION OF HISPANIC HERITAGE AND HOPE.”

This is a time to recognize Union Institute & University’s role as a leader in Hispanic and Latinx Adult Education. Union graduates such as Dr. Antonia Pantoja, education reformer and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient; Edgardo (Eddie) Garcia, Dallas, Texas Chief of Police; Dr. Raul Manzano, artist; Dr. Ana Elisa Baratta, clinical mental health counselor; and Adriana Velarde, midwife. Many more Union alumni continue to infuse this country with innovation, ideas and passion.

The Union Institute & University system is honored to serve the Hispanic adult learner population and to be the only university in Ohio designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education Hispanic-Serving Institutions Division. The Union HSI website is also available in Spanish.

Dr. Karen Schuster Webb, President of Union Institute & University, has been chosen to join Excelencia in Education, the nation’s premier authority in efforts accelerating Latino student success in higher education. She will be a member of Presidents for Latino and Latina Student Success (P4LSS) and the Excelencia in Action network. This important national network includes college and university presidents and chancellors who commit to making their institutions a learning environment where Latino students thrive. Hispanic Serving Institutions graduate 35% of all Latino students nationwide.

Dr. Nelson Soto, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Union and of Puerto Rican heritage explains that Union is committed to removing barriers to higher education degrees.

“Union is a beacon of light for adults to further their education. Each individual is valued for who he or she is as a person. Social justice and diversity are core values of Union’s mission. We recognize that with knowledge comes the responsibility to serve in advancing a culturally pluralistic, equitable, and interdependent world. Union is committed to promoting diversity among its academic community and in the world at large. Social justice is the underpinning of Union’s curriculum.”

National Hispanic Heritage Month started in 1968 under President Lyndon Johnson. According to the National Hispanic Heritage web page, the week was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15 and enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402. The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively.

“Union welcomes the diverse heritage and culture of its students. Union also offers hope that as a Hispanic Serving Institution, we are committed to assisting all learners to obtain the dream of educational opportunities to engage, enlighten and empower them to pursue professional goals and a lifetime of learning, service and social responsibility,” Dr. Soto said.


You too can start achieving your career goals with a Union Institute & University degree. Union is an adult-focused and diverse non-profit university that offers bachelor, master’s and doctoral degrees and certificates in education, leadership, social justice, mental wellness, public service, health care and more. Our programs are built for your busy life, and you can attend part or full-time. Learn more about our undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degrees today at this link.