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Walla Walla, WA
Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage at WWU

April 13, 2023
Gleb Drumi

WWU's Hispanic/Latino Community and Professor George Perez's Efforts During Hispanic Heritage Month

Gleb Drumi

According to Walla Walla University’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, there are 337 Hispanic/Latino students on campus, which accounts for 21% of the total number of students.

WWU celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month every year by hosting a variety of events, including Hispanic Vespers, community gatherings, and other special programs on campus. The big community of Hispanic/Latino students at WWU is also highlighted by the Nuestra Iglesia student church, the LatinX Club, and Hispanic Ministries led by students.  

Professor George Perez is Mexican American and teaches management and marketing courses at WWU. Perez shared that Hispanic Heritage Month is “an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the culture and contributions of Hispanics in our community.” These contributions include arts, science, sports, academia, and other achievements. Hispanic heritage is an “opportunity to share” these gifts, pointed out Perez. [1] 

The presence of a significant Hispanic/Latino community at WWU is not only reflected in the numbers but also in the various initiatives led by students themselves. Perez shared his involvement with these initiatives on campus. “I connected with Nuestra Iglesia and Hispanic Ministries helping out with preaching and planning, and with the LatinX club,” described Perez. “I was also invited to collaborate with the diversity and inclusion office and produce a month-long programming for the Hispanic Heritage Month.” [3] 

WWU’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion has a Hispanic Faculty Staff Association which provides opportunities for students, faculty, and staff who identify with and/or embody the Hispanic/Latino Culture. The HFSA shares a mission “to create a supportive and inclusive environment that values and celebrates Hispanics' contributions in our diverse community. We exist to provide opportunities for cultural, social, spiritual, and professional growth; to build and sustain a community of belonging and advocacy for all Hispanic faculty, staff, and students.” [2]

These continuous efforts create an opportunity for Hispanic/Latino students to be appreciated and feel included in the WWU community.  

When it comes to long-term initiatives for the WWU campus, Perez shared that it would be great to have a multicultural center. This center would be a “place of representation for all the different cultures” and a space “where we can hold events and provide meeting spaces” for different cultures on campus. [4] 

Cultural events on campus create awareness and are a time of celebration for different cultures. Awareness and cross-cultural understanding provide opportunities and create experiences for students to engage with people of different backgrounds. This experience can bring everyone together and serve as a bridge between cultural divides and promote social cohesion. 



  1. Interview with George Perez, 3/6/2023. 
  2. Hispanic Faculty Staff Association's Mission Statement. (2023). Walla Walla University.  
  3. Interview with George Perez, 3/6/2023. 
  4. Ibid. 
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