Ballet Folkloric dancers on the Boulevard

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage

Hispanic Heritage Month, occurring annually from September 15 through October 15, celebrates the contributions and achievements of Hispanic Americans in the U.S. Students and organizations across campus are celebrating the importance of this holiday. Read inspiring stories, learn more about upcoming events, and hear first-hand from students, staff, and supporters about what their Hispanic heritage means to them.

Ana Rodriguez ’03

As of 2020, Latinos make up over 18% of the population, yet they represent less than 3% of executive-level positions in the United States. Ana Rodriguez ’03 knows firsthand what it’s like to struggle to gain a foothold in the U.S.

As the head of the SMU Cox School of Business’s Latino Leadership Initiative (LLI) – the nation’s only executive education program dedicated to the professional advancement of Latinos – Rodriguez helps students and executive-level employees from minority backgrounds transform their lives and careers.

Anita N. Martinez

Anita N. Martinez

In May 2022, SMU presented the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree to longtime Dallas leader Anita N. Martinez at SMU’s May 14 commencement ceremonies, honoring her dedication to enriching the civic and cultural life of the city.

In 1969, Martinez became the first Mexican-American woman elected to the Dallas City Council, as well as the first elected to any major city council. After two terms on the Dallas City Council, Martinez chose to improve her community through the performing arts, establishing the Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico: an organization created to educate Hispanic youth on the significance of their culture through traditional cultural dances from regions in Mexico, Central America and the American Southwest.

Upcoming events

Connect with

The College of Hispanic American Students (CHAS) – housed within SCIE

Since 1972 College Hispanic American Students has been dedicated to serving those at SMU who are passionate about establishing equal opportunity for all. With a focus on the Latino culture and community, CHAS serves as the voice of the SMU Latino Community by being the Latino umbrella organization.

The Office of Social Change and Intercultural Engagement (SCIE)

The Office of Social Change and Intercultural Engagement (SCIE) connects students with opportunities to engage with and learn from the SMU campus, Dallas community, and beyond. The office prioritizes advocacy and awareness through immersive community engagement experiences and social justice education.

The Latino Alumni Affinity Group

The SMU Affinity Group for Latino Alumni work to create networking, cultural, and social opportunities for alumni old and new, and play an active role in cultivating the next generation of Mustangs.

SMU and Dallas

A statue of Adelfa Callejo ’61 was recently placed at the Main Street Garden Park in downtown Dallas. In 1961, she became the first Latina to graduate from the SMU Dedman School of Law.

A statue of Adelfa Callejo ’61 located at the Main Street Garden Park in downtown Dallas

“As a Latina woman who grew up in Dallas, Texas, I wanted to be very intentional with the events SCIE hosted this year in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Often times it is assumed that Mexico or other Central American countries are the go-to cultures to represent Hispanic Heritage Month. However, there are 20 Spanish-speaking countries in the world, each with a unique and rich culture. It’s important to recognize the individuality of each culture as opposed to grouping them all together.”

Laura Searle, Intercultural Engagement Coordinator for SMU Social Change and Intercultural Engagement

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