Picture this. It’s a sunny and beautiful 80-degree day without a cloud in the sky. You could say there wasn’t a better day to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. So, with the pouring of orange dye, the Franciscan Heritage Fountain turned orange and the celebrations began. Hispanic Heritage Month began September 15 and continues until October 15 in an effort to recognize and celebrate the many contributions, diverse cultures, and extensive histories of the American Latino community.
Marian University’s Student Organization of Latino (SOL) President Megan Garcia ’23 was excited. “This is an amazing kick-off event here on campus as our SOL organization were highly influenced by the Indiana Latino Institute’s example of dyeing downtown Indianapolis’s canal orange to celebrate the month’s activities. “We wanted to bring that excitement and feel to Marian’s campus and include the entire community.”
It’s the third year for dyeing the Marian fountain orange. The idea started with Executive Director of Latino Leadership Manuela Salazar who said the fun event was a great way to start the celebrations and the students really enjoy it.
“Last year we only had 10-15 people participate, but now since we’ve promoted it more and have used social media, we’re seeing a lot more students come out and see almost 100 students, faculty, and staff here today.”
Student Luis Oviedo ’24 agrees. “I think it’s really important to know Latin culture, especially to highlight the Hispanic and Latino community on campus which makes Marian University the unique place it is. It’s one of those things that makes everyone proud to be a Knight.”
Marian University President Daniel J. Elsener added, “We have a rich history of celebrating the unique gifts of every individual on campus and the rich cultural backgrounds they bring to the Marian University community. It is a distinct honor to serve as president of a university that enrolls students from many diverse cultural backgrounds. The burgeoning Latino population on our campus is a powerful force for good and contributes mightily to learning excellence and strength of Marian University.
Salazar added, “Our goal is to transform Marian University into the best option for our Latino students to become transformational leaders through an inclusive, welcoming, and safe environment rooted to our Catholic Franciscan tradition. I believe activities like this helps to promote that.”
This year's national Hispanic Month theme is Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation. To learn more about Marian’s Latino Leadership Initiative, click here.