This is an auspicious time: the start of the Fall 2022 semester at Hostos Community College.

In-person or virtually — or, more than likely, both — you will begin or continue your studies in your chosen field. Your determination to bring new meaning and opportunity to your life has impelled you to take an active part in shaping your life, your vocation, and your destiny.

Much is going on in the Hostos community. Earlier this year the College was selected as one of 10 finalists for the 2023 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. The $1 million prize is awarded every two years and is the nation’s signature recognition for America’s community colleges. The recipient of the Aspen Prize will be announced in Spring 2023, but no matter who ultimately wins, being chosen as a finalist is a testament to the quality of the students, faculty, and staff of the College — and to the role Hostos plays in the life of the South Bronx.

Other exciting news involves recent Hostos graduate Ndongo Njie, a participant in the Kaplan Leadership Program, which assists high-potential, low-income, and underrepresented community college students in completing their associate’s degrees and transferring to four-year institutions. Njie has been accepted as a student at Princeton University, the first Kaplan Scholar in the history of the program to attend Princeton. It is a delight to add his name to the list of its students who began their educational journeys at Hostos and have gone on to further academic success at other institutions.

Substantial support was received at the end of 2021 when the National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded $2.3 million to the College’s “Hostos Oasis for Parents’ Education (HOPE): A Holistic Two-Generation Approach to Improving STEM Education in the South Bronx” program. This program for student parents and their children concluded a successful summer session at the beginning of August.

In June 2021, Hostos received a $15 million gift from philanthropist, author, and activist MacKenzie Scott. This is the largest single gift in the College’s history and one of the largest in the history of The City University of New York (CUNY). Ms. Scott’s awe-inspiring generosity is yet another sign that Hostos is on the right track. It says to us, “What you do matters.” We accept this with the greatest humility, because what matters to us is you.

The College has provided a path to a brighter future and served as a source of life-transforming education since its founding in 1968. Though our mission remains the same as it was over five decades ago — making affordable and high-quality higher education accessible for all who seek it — we have always looked for the most effective means of achieving that mission. The global pandemic prompted a quick and successful turn to digital instruction, and a variety of learning options are available. The return to in-person classes and events has been carefully planned and implemented to protect the health and ensure the safety of all.

Hostos takes pride in its history and in its namesake: Don Eugenio María de Hostos, the Puerto Rican philosopher, educator, man of letters and fighter for the independence of Puerto Rico. The College arose from the vision and activism of many Puerto Rican, Latino, and other supporters who believed the South Bronx deserved its own community college. We are proud of the quality of teaching and learning at Hostos, and of our work with community agencies to promote educational, labor, economic and community development initiatives. To that end, we offer programs designed to promote engagement both on campus and in our communities.

The Hostos catalogue presents a rich offering of career and academic programs, including allied health sciences, digital design and animation, education, engineering, liberal arts and sciences, theater arts, and many other disciplines. Our talented and highly accomplished faculty, staff and administrators support the goals of new and returning students alike.

A new academic year brings exciting new opportunities for students, and I know this will be a challenging and rewarding experience for you. You are here to excel — and we are here to help you do exactly that.

I wish you all the very best, whether this is your first day at Hostos or your final semester on the road to graduation.

It is a joy to welcome you to Hostos.
Your future starts here.

Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D.