Augustana named College of the Year by National Hispanic Institute


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Posted Online: Nov. 09, 2012, 2:57 pm
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Press release submitted by Augustana College



Rock Island, Ill. –Augustana has been named College of the Year by the National Hispanic Institute (NHI). President of the College Steven Bahls accepted the award on behalf of Augustana students, staff and faculty at the NHI annual meeting in San Antonio.
The award recognizes Augustana for hosting the Midwest Great Debate each summer since 2004, and it serves as a token of thanks for the "extraordinary support" provided by the college's admissions office.
According to Greg Aguilar, Augustana's director of multicultural services, "Being chosen as College of the Year by NHI is a great honor for Augustana because it recognizes the extraordinary efforts put forth by the leadership of our college in serving our students and partnering with organizations that enhance our local community."
Nicole Sada, executive vice president of NHI, said, "We honor those who believe in the work of the National Hispanic Institute and make the work possible by their support and contributions. We firmly believe that the Latino community offers a great deal of talent that can be channeled into new ideas, new inventions and new leadership for communities."
Sada added, "Augustana College has been a beacon of light in our partnerships. We cannot thank the president, admissions office, facilities staff and the community overall for their unwavering support."
NHI is both a national and international organization that helps Latino young people envision themselves as future community leaders. Through NHI events like the Midwest Great Debate, Hispanic students can practice their skills in leading and working with others and engage in critical discussions about their futures. Additionally, NHI is dedicated to personal excellence, a strong belief in family and culture, and service to others.
President Bahls pointed to the college's relationship with NHI as important to the goals of the college's strategic plan, Authentically Augustana: Affirm our Mission, Assure our Future and Assess our Results. He explained that Augustana is committed to responding to population trends and increasing multicultural and international student outreach, enrollment and graduation rates.
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"I am proud of the Augustana community for setting the goal of increasing diversity on campus to better reflect America's diversity," said President Bahls. "Diversity in the classroom fosters much richer discussions and deeper learning."
From 2003 to 2012, the percentage of multicultural students in each first-year class has increased from 8 percent to 22 percent. Today, 16.6 percent of Augustana students represent racial and ethnic minority groups.
President Bahls added, "It is gratifying that the National Hispanic Institute recognized Augustana as a leading college for Hispanic students."
Other colleges previously recognized by NHI include Villanova University, Philadelphia, Pa.; University of Rochester, Rochester, N.Y.; and Austin College, Sherman, Texas.
For more information, please contact Director of Public Relations Keri Rursch at (309) 794-7721 or kerirursch@augustana.edu.

About Augustana: Founded in 1860, Augustana College is a selective four-year residential college of the liberal arts and sciences. Augustana is recognized for the innovative program Augie Choice, which provides each student up to $2,000 to pursue a high-impact learning experience such as study abroad, an internship or research with a professor. Alumni include 139 Academic All-Americans, a Nobel laureate, 12 college presidents and other distinguished leaders. The college enrolls 2,500 students and is located along one of the world's most important waterways, the Mississippi River, in a community that reflects the diversity of the United States.













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