In 1981, a group of visionary alumni established the Mexican American Alumni Association in an effort to develop programs that provide partial tuition scholarships to LMU Latino students who demonstrate financial need and a commitment to the Latino community. The initial fundraising goal was $10,000, which was awarded to the inaugural MAAA scholars during the 1981-1982 academic year. For more than 30 years, this community has put forth programs that assist the university in recruiting, retaining and graduating Latino students by providing scholarship support, professional networking and mentorship opportunities. As we honor the 30th anniversary of the Mexican American Alumni Association, we give thanks to our founding members and to our alumni, friends and corporate sponsors who have partnered with us to strengthen our legacy.
As Loyola Marymount University celebrates its centennial, honoring 100 years of educating men and women for others, the Latino community also celebrates its history and its vital role at LMU. It is in this same spirit that the LMU Mexican American Alumni Association Board of Directors proudly announce on March 26, 2012 the change of our association name to the LMU Latino Alumni Association.
Since 1981, our community has committed to transforming the lives of Latino students in their pursuit of a quality education, ensuring LMU is accessible and affordable for all. With the support of our alumni, friends and corporate sponsors, as well as the university's 2:1 match, we have awarded more than 1,400 scholarships for more than $3 million. It is in this same tradition that the LMU Latino Alumni Association will continue to foster relationships with alumni, university and community partners, to expand our network and impact. Likewise, our efforts to provide scholarship support, professional networking and mentorship opportunities to future generations of Latino students will remain our top priority.
Similar to the Latino population in Southern California and across the world, diversity within the Latino population at LMU is growing tremendously. Much of our efforts and partnerships already reflect this diversity, with representation of the various Latino cultures and ethnicities in our scholars, alumni, Board of Directors and amongst our Class Captains. The association's name change reflects the inclusivity of our mission and the diversity of our alumni, students, donors and corporate sponsors, whom we serve and represent.
This change comes at a time when 20.7% of the current student body identify as Latino. The association has been, and continues to be, a vital pillar in the Latino community at LMU, contributing toward the success of our students and the national recognition of the university. In 2011, LMU was named among the Top 100 Colleges for Hispanics by The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education. LMU also ranked 7th among private institutions with the most favorable graduation rates for Hispanic students ("Big Gaps, Small Gaps," The Education Trust, August 2010).
This decision was made with careful consideration and great respect for the generations that paved the way and for those who are our future.
As we look ahead to the upcoming years, we take great pride in embracing all Latino cultures, as reflected in our work and in our name.
The LMU Latino Alumni Association has raised more than $2.8 million, as part of LMU's capital campaign. The goal is to increase the endowment fund to provide scholarships in perpetuity to LMU Latino Alumni Association scholars. With a successful campaign, our association will continue to be a catalyst for nurturing future leadership and a vital contributor to Loyola Marymount University's overall goal of becoming one of the most distinguished Catholic universities in the nation.
Join the Latino Alumni Association in supporting future generations of LMU Latino leaders.