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Latinas Shine at Graduation Ceremony  

Photo of Latino Institute graduatesSeton Hall University's Joseph A. Unanue Latino Institute's list of graduating scholars from the university's 161st baccalaureate commencement includes those moving on to the Peace Corps, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, as well as a future nurse, physician assistant, and a healthcare administrator this past May 2018.

The scholars were joined on stage by fellow Latinas, keynote speaker Jovita Carranza, the 44th Treasurer of the United States and graduating valedictorian Janina Andrea Alzate. The ceremony took place Monday, May 21 at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. The University graduated 1,320 students with baccalaureate degrees, 588 graduating with honors. In addition, 1,084 graduate students will receive master's and doctorate degrees, making the total number of graduates this year 2,404 students.

Carranza, the daughter of Mexican immigrants, started her career at United Parcel Service in the 1970s as a part-time night-shift box handler. More than 20 years later, she rose to the level of President of Latin American and Caribbean Operations at UPS and was the highest-ranking Latina in company history.

"To whom much is given, much is required," Carranza said. She also challenged the students to "Do more than just be an example to others. In all you think and all you do, you must now be a leader. Your goal, I will suggest, is not to create lots of followers. Your goal, obtained by inspiring others, is to create more leaders."

The valedictorian address was delivered by Alzate, whose parents immigrated from Colombia and Ecuador. Alzate, from Elizabeth, N.J., graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University's College of Education and Human Services with a B.S. in Education. Alzate majored in elementary and special education, received a speech honors citation and held a second major in social and behavioral sciences, plus a minor in psychology.

Inspired by the legacy of Joseph A. Unanue, the Latino Institute at Seton Hall University advances, educates, and transforms students into the next generation of servant leaders in our ever-changing global society. The Latino Institute was created through a generous gift from Mr. Joseph A. Unanue, former founder and President of GOYA Foods, and his wife Mrs. Carmen Ana Unanue. Built on a rich legacy of service to the Seton Hall Latino community, the Unanue Latino Institute had its genesis as the Puerto Rican Institute, founded in the early 1970's.

In celebration of commencement Maribel Unanue, daughter of Joseph and Carmen Ana Unanue, shared on behalf of the family, "We are so proud and honored. At the same time, humbled by the blessing of having the opportunity to have played a role in the education and development of our amazing scholars. Each one of them embodies the spirit of compassion and joy. We hope that the grace of God will guide them in both their professional and personal lives. We are confident in their capacity to be highly effective in their abilities to make positive contributions to our world. We wish them happiness and success."

Categories: Campus Life

For more information, please contact:

  • Stephanie Macias-Arlington
  • (973) 761-9422
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