Mariachi music performed by Las Aguilitas of Davis Bilingual Magnet Middle School will ring sweet notes of welcome and celebration for graduating University of Arizona Chicano/Hispano students.
Graduating students and their loved ones will gather for the UA’s Chicano/Hispano Student Affairs Office’s 24th Annual Graduation Convocation to be held Wednesday from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Centennial Hall.
Alfredo Valenzuela, the director of Las Aguilitas and a mariachi education icon, will lead the graduates’ procession to a welcome from UA President Robert N. Shelton. On Saturday, Valenzuela will receive an honorary degree at the UA's main commencement.
The two-hour ceremony includes individual recognition of graduates, acknowledgement of the Hispanic Alumni student award winners, faculty readings and special acknowledgement for the contributions of retiring Vice President and Senior Associate to the President Edith Auslander and College of Humanities Dean Charles Tatum.
The Chicano/Hispano Student Affairs Office "works to create a community that supports the students’ academic goals and values their cultural heritage. Students don't give up or put aside who they are or where they came from when they enroll at the UA. Thanks to programs like this, we can actively see students rise to academic success,” said Socorro Carrizosa, the office's director.
The office supports innovative retention programs that encourage academic achievement, personal development and integration into the University and Tucson community through mentoring and tutoring programs.
The program is part of the UA’s Office of Multicultural Affairs and Student Success and actively supports the incorporation of multicultural perspectives across disciplines, programs and students’ academic careers.
The ceremony ends with folklorico dance presented by Folklorico Mitztontli de University of Arizona and a reception featuring music from Mariachi Redención at the Arizona State Museum North.