AAHHE Founders' Award

The Founders’ Award is given in the spirit of the extraordinary leadership, stewardship, and courage evidenced by the founding members of the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education. This award honors an individual or organization demonstrating an exemplary commitment to advancing access and success of the Latinx population in higher education; evidencing a pioneering spirit in forging transformational avenues and inclusionary opportunities that support and promote Latinx issues; and achieving outstanding accomplishments aligned with AAHHE’s mission.

Founding Members (January 2003) include:

Norma Cantu, Esquire, The University of Texas, Austin, TX; Dr. Jaime Chahin, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX; Dr. Alfredo de los Santos, Hispanic Research Center, Tempe, AZ;  Ms. Virginia Gonzalez, North Hampton Community College Bethlehem, PA; Dr. Estela Lopez, Connecticut State University System, Hartford, CT; Dr. Louis Olivas, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ; Dr. Eduardo Padron, Miami Dade Community College, Miami, FL; Mr. Jesus Rangel, Anheuser-Busch Company, St. Louis, MO; and Dr. Ricardo Romo,The University of Texas – San Antonio, San Antonio, TX.


2021 AAHHE Founders' Award


Joe I. Castro
The California State University

Joseph I. Castro, PhD serves as the eighth chancellor to lead the California State University (CSU). He is the first Californian and first person of color to serve in this role. The grandson of immigrants from Mexico and the son of a single mother, Castro was the first in his family to graduate from a university. He earned a bachelor's degree in political science and a master's in public policy from the University of California, Berkeley, and a doctorate degree in higher education policy and leadership from Stanford University. ​He is a renowned and gifted scholar in the fields of leadership and public policy, and has mentored hundreds of other scholars and practitioners, including many university presidents and senior officers. Read more...


List of past recipients of the previously known President's Award:

  • 2020 Monica C. Lozano
  • 2019 Mari-Luci Jaramillo
  • 2018 Gary Francisco Keller