Luis Fraga, scholar and Latino political pioneer, to speak at 119th commencement

Luis Fraga

Luis Ricardo Fraga, co-director of the Institute for Latino Studies at Notre Dame, will be the speaker at Goshen College’s 119th commencement ceremony on Sunday, April 30 at 3 p.m. in the Roman Gingerich Recreation-Fitness Center.

See the graduation webpage for a full schedule of events and other helpful information about Commencement Weekend.

In addition to serving as co-director of the Institute for Latino Studies, Fraga is the Arthur Foundation Endowed Professor of Transformative Latino Leadership, the Joseph and Elizabeth Robbie Professor of Political Science and a fellow for the Institute for Educational Initiatives at Notre Dame. He has been on the faculty at the University of Washington, Stanford University, and the University of Oklahoma. He is a native of Corpus Christi, Texas.

“Dr. Fraga is one of the most dynamic Hispanic leaders in higher education, and we’ve been fortunate to have worked alongside Dr. Fraga on multiple projects,” GC President Jim Brenneman said. “I am especially excited because Dr. Fraga embodies the Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) vision that we have been aspiring for during my entire tenure as president.”

Fraga graduated cum laude with a degree in government from Harvard University and earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from Rice University. His primary interests are in American politics, where he specializes in the politics of race and ethnicity, Latino politics, immigration policy, education politics, voting rights policy and urban politics.

He has authored or co-authored six books, including a high school textbook, and has published numerous journal articles and book chapters.

In 2011, President Barack Obama appointed Fraga to the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. The Commission developed an action plan and priorities for President Obama and former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to improve the educational attainment of Hispanics. That same year, Hispanic Business named him one of the top “100 Influentials” in the United States. In 2013, Seattle Mayor Michael McGinn appointed him to the Immigrant Voting Rights Task Force where he served as co-chair.

He is the immediate past president of the Board of Directors of OneAmerica, an immigrant rights and advocacy organization based in Seattle. In 2011 Archbishop Peter Sartain appointed him to the board of the Fulcrum Foundation that provides financial support to families and schools in the Archdiocese of Seattle. In 2008 he was appointed by Governor Christine Gregoire to serve on Washington’s New Americans Policy Council.

He is a past Vice-President of the American Political Science Association (APSA), and was also co-chair of the Presidential Task Force on Political Science in the 21st Century of the APSA. He was Secretary of the APSA in 2006-07, and served on the Executive Council of the APSA in 1998-2000. He served as president of the Western Political Science Association in 1997-98.

In 2003-04 he was a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, and in 1989-90 he was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University.

Fraga has received a number of teaching, advising, mentoring and service awards at Stanford, including the Rhodes Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (1993), the Dinkelspiel Award for Distinctive Contributions to Undergraduate Education (1995), the Allan V. Cox Medal for Faculty Excellence Fostering Undergraduate Research (1997), the Faculty Award from the Chicano/Latino Graduating Class (1993, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001), the Undergraduate Faculty Advisor of the Year Award (2001) and the Associated Students of Stanford University Teaching Award (2003).

Schedule of Goshen College’s 119th Commencement Weekend activities:

Saturday, April 29
1:30 p.m. – Nurses’ Pinning Ceremony, Church-Chapel
2-5 p.m. – Department receptions – graduates and families meet informally with professors (exact times and locations to be announced by departments)
7:30 p.m. – Senior Class Program, Music Center’s Sauder Concert Hall

8:45 p.m. – President’s Reception for graduates and families, Music Center lobby

Sunday, April 30

11 a.m. – Baccalaureate service, with address by President James E. Brenneman, Church-Chapel

3 p.m. – 119th Annual Commencement Ceremony, with address by Luis Fraga, Roman Gingerich Recreation-Fitness Center (no tickets needed). Live web streaming will also be available for those unable to attend.