HSU President Honors Benito Juarez

Acknowledging Humboldt State's longstanding institutional relationship with Mexico's Universidad Autónoma Benito Juárez de Oaxaca, HSU President Rollin Richmond addressed a letter last week to the university's president. The letter, found below, recognizes the March 21 bicentennial celebration of the birth of Don Benito Juárez, the school's namesake.

Benito Juárez Garcia served two terms as President of Mexico, from 1861 to1863 and from 1867 until his death in 1872. Juárez is remembered for being a progressive reformer dedicated to democracy and equal rights. He worked to lessen the Roman Catholic Church's power in Mexican politics, resisted the French occupation, and made efforts to modernize the country – all distinguishing him as one of Mexico's greatest, most beloved leaders.

The Universidad Autónoma Benito Juárez de Oaxaca (UABJO) has long been a host university for HSU's summer language program. In 2003 the two university presidents signed a formal cooperative pact which paved the way for faculty and student exchange, cooperative development of courses and academic programs, and joint scientific and technological research projects

Dr. Larry Rice, Associate Professor of Education, explains that Humboldt State's Latino population is growing and that representation of the Latino population in Humboldt County's workforce is also steadily increasing. HSU and UABJO are currently working on a $300,000 grant proposal to the United States Agency for International Development. If successful, the grant would fund scholarships for a number of Mexican graduate students to complete Master's Degrees at HSU.

The following letter of congratulations was delivered to C.P.C Francisco Martínez Neri, Rector (President) of the Universidad Autonoma Benito Juárez de Oaxaca:

Dear Francisco,

It is with great pleasure that I write to congratulate you on the occasion of the Bicentennial Celebration of the birth of Benito Juárez García, March 21, 2006. On this auspicious occasion, please extend the best wishes of the faculty, staff, and students of Humboldt State University to our esteemed colleagues at the Universidad Autónoma Benito Juárez de Oaxaca, and to other members of the Comisión Especial Para Conmemorar el Bicentenario del Natalicio de Don Benito Juárez García del Senado de la República.

The service of Benito Juárez, especially in protection of human liberties, has served as a shining example for the other countries in the Western Hemisphere. Benito Juárez was indeed an Outstanding Patriot of the Americas. Never have words rung more true than in Benito Juárez's proclamation, “Between individuals, as between nations, peace means respect for the rights of others.” The legacies of Benito Juárez -- his contributions to the rule of law, to indigenous peoples’ rights, and to educational reform, to name just a few – are truly inspirational to us all.

Please accept on this occasion the good wishes of the Humboldt State University community for your future, as you carry on the traditions of higher education in the name of Benito Juárez. We celebrate this event in the context of our strong and continuing institutional relationship of support and mutual prosperity. Inspired by the life and work of Benito Juárez, we look forward to continuing a meaningful and fruitful relationship with the Universidad Autónoma Benito Juárez de Oaxaca for many years to come.

With respect and affection,

Rollin C. Richmond, President
Humboldt State University