Thirty years ago, the Mexican American Alumni Association was formed by a core group of Mexican American alumni to provide scholarships to students from the broad Latino community seeking a high-quality university education at LMU.
This spring, the MAAA Board of Directors unanimously decided to take the occasion of the group’s 30th anniversary and LMU’s centennial celebration to rename their association the LMU Latino Alumni Association. The change makes clear the commitment of the association’s founders to serve Latinos throughout Southern California.
Leaders of the association, including members of the Board of Trustees and Board of Regents consulted with university leaders, stakeholders, alumni, faculty and staff, and found widespread support for the change, particularly because of the promise of increased involvement by students, alumni, donors and other supporters.
“The new name for our association reflects our longstanding commitment to reaching out to help students across the Latino community,” said Alex Martin Chaves ’86, president of the Latino Alumni Association. “This step reflects the inclusivity of our mission, and it will strengthen us tremendously in our ability to reach out, expand our networking and mentorship opportunities, and help more students to get access to the top-quality education that LMU offers.”
More than 20 percent of LMU students self-identify as Latino. Since the association was founded, its impact in helping students gain an education is clear. Through contributions by the association’s members and supporters, and a 2-for-1 match by the university, more than 1,400 scholarships, with a total value of $3 million have helped hundreds of Latino students improve their lives and those of their families. Those efforts have reaped benefits. In 2011, LMU was named among the Top 100 Colleges for Hispanics by The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education. The Education Trust in 2010 also ranked LMU seventh among private institutions with the most favorable graduation rates for Hispanic students.