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National Hispanic Institute Founder To Serve As Southwestern’s 2004 Commencement Speaker

National Hispanic Institute President and Founder Ernesto Nieto will be the featured speaker for Southwestern University’s 2004 commencement ceremonies, held at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 8, at the Corbin J. Robertson Center on campus.

Nieto, Southwestern Class of 1964, has been honored with the University’s 1994 “Distinguished Alumnus Award.” In 1979, he left government work to pursue his vision of creating a leadership institute for Latino youth. Twenty five years later, under his leadership, the NHI has worked with more than 100 institutions of higher learning and 50,000 high achieving, high ability youth from across the nation. In addition to his duties as chief executive officer of the NHI, Nieto serves on the Board of Trustees of DePaul University and on the Board of Visitors of Southwestern University. In 2001, he authored the book Third Reality: Crafting a 21st Century Latino Agenda.

Nieto has received the Eagle Leadership Award by the El Paso City Council; the Meritorious Service Award by Southwestern University; and honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth. Other awards include Southwestern’s Citation of Merit Award for Community Service and the Human Relations Award from the National Association for College Admissions Counseling.

Nieto serves as a consultant to colleges and universities on Latino student outreach and recruitment. He is the chief curriculum writer for NHI and creator of Third Reality Publications. He has been featured in such publications as The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Houston Chronicle, Austin-American Statesmen, and on ABC’s “World News Tonight,” Austin Community College Spotlight, Univision and Telemundo.