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Hostos Community College of The City University of New York: College Timeline 1968-2013

This guide provides a brief overview of Hostos, a unique bilingual college founded by South Bronx Community members in 1968. Since its inception in an abandoned tire warehouse Hostos has provided upward mobility for students.

Hostos Timeline

Hostos Community College 1968-2013

January 22, 1968

Board of Higher Education approves the establishment of Community College Number Eight.


April 22, 1968

Board of Higher Education formally founds college.


November 1968

Cándido de León appointed first dean of administration and proposes organization of the College.


September 22, 1969

College is named after Eugenio María de Hostos, making it the first college in the continental United States so honoring a Puerto Rican.


September 29, 1969

De León’s proposal adopted by Board.


September 1970

Hostos opens its doors to charter class of 623.


September 1971

Cándido de León appointed president, thus becoming the first Puerto Rican to head an institution of higher learning in the U.S.


Fall 1972

“Libra” Program established.


Spring 1973

Bilingual approach to instruction is in place.


Spring 1974

The campaign for the “500 Building” begins. Rallies held at Board and in Albany.


May 1974

“500 Building” acquired through special legislation passed in Albany.


Summer 1974

College granted full and unconditional accreditation by Commission on Higher Education.


Summer-Fall 1975

City’s fiscal crisis worsens. Rumors of the merger of Hostos with Bronx Community College begin to circulate. College begins to mobilize.


February 1976

University announces plan to merge Hostos with Bronx Community College.


April 5th, 1976

Board approves proposal to merge.


June 9th, 1976

The State Legislature passes “Landes Act,” which guarantees the existence of Hostos.


August 1977

President de León resigns, Anthony Santiago named acting president.


Fall 1977

Enrollment at record level, College Community resumes campaign for “500 Building.” Hostos United is founded.


March-June 1978

Peaceful 3-month take-over of B-building; leads to 1986 Master Plan.


Summer 1978

Mayor approves bond sale for renovation of building.


March 19, 1979

Dr. Flora Mancuso Edwards appointed president. Reorganization of Academic Division begins.


Spring 1980

Reorganization plan approved by the Board of Trustees.


Summer 1980

Hostos accreditation is fully and unconditionally reaffirmed.


Fall 1980

Planning council formed. Reorganization of student services begins.


December 1980

College begins to move into “500 Building”.


January 1981           

Community Advisory Council formed.


Fall 1982

Hostos Culture and Arts Program begin its first season.


Fall 1984

Hostos Day Care Center officially opens.


Spring 1985

Hostos Solidarity Coalition formed to coordinate progressive political activity.


August 1985

Announcement that $150,000,000 campus will be built, including and arts center, gymnasium, science building and bridge across the Grand Concourse.



Committee to defend Hostos successfully fights to prevent major cuts in budget.


August 1987

Dr. Isaura Santiago appointed President of Hostos Community College.


Fall 1988

First student graduation committee created.


Summer 1988

Construction begins on new campus.



The Middle States Visiting Team reports that Hostos’ strengths rest in its human capital: “faculty, administration, students and staff…deserve a strong communication because every day they work together to meet monumental challenge…”


December 14, 1990

Dedication of the Shirley J. Hinds Allied Health and Science Building.



Borough President Fernando Ferrer provides support for the theaters in the East Academic Complex and the Allied Health and Science Building.


September 1993

Students begin attending classes in a section of the East Academic Complex.


October 14, 1994

Opening of the East Academic Complex and the Center for the Arts & Culture.


March 2, 1998

Dr. Dolores Fernandez appointed President of Hostos Community College.



The “Hostos Renaissance” A renewed commitment to rigorous career and liberal arts programs.


April 10, 2002

Hostos Center for the Arts and Culture receives special recognition from international Music Hall of Fame.


July 2004

Hostos Center for Arts & Culture receives award from Municipal Art Society of NY for excellence in programming and science.



The “Hostos Age of Discovery:” New focus on making Hostos the pride of CUNY through a commitment to excellence.



Men’s basketball team wins NJCAA National Division III Championship.


January 2007

Hostos College library is recognized nationally when it is awarded the “Excellence in Academic Libraries Award” by the Association of College and Research Libraries.



College enrollment exceeds 5,000 and the college celebrates its 40th Anniversary.


July 1, 2009
Educator and Scholar Dr. Félix V. Matos Rodríguez appointed president of Hostos Community College.


March 2010
Hostos celebrates 40th anniversary of its Dental Hygiene Program.


June 4, 2010
U.S. Associate Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor delivers commencement address.


October 2010
Hostos receives the first allocation for a five-year, federally funded project totaling $7.4 million to train low-income individuals for careers in health care through Allied Health Pipeline.


February 2011
Hostos Repertory Company wins two awards at Kennedy Center’s American College Theater Festival.


October 2011
President Félix Matos Rodríguez unveils five-year strategic plan.


March 2012
Ribbon cutting ceremony inaugurates $9.1 million renovated and redesigned 5th Floor of 500 Grand Concourse Building.


June 10, 2012
President Félix Matos Rodríguez serves as Grand Marshal of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade.


October 2012
National Science Foundation Awards Hostos more than $900,000 for STEM Projects.


November 2012
Hostos Professor Rees Shad named 2012 New York State Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).


December 2012
Division of Continuing Education & Workforce Development opens two new $1.4 million facility at the Bronx Terminal Market. CUNY in the Heights also moves into its new space in Manhattan.


January 2013
The Caimans men’s basketball team enters Top 10 in NJCAA Division III rankings.


February 2, 2013
U.S. Associate Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor launches Hostos Heritage Lecture Series. Other speakers included journalist Cheryl Wills and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz.


April 22, 2013
Hostos celebrates official 45th anniversary. College marks its birthday with large community service project, THE BIG EVENT.


June 7, 2013
United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan gives keynote address at the College’s largest commencement ceremony to date as Hostos confers a record number of 907 degrees in the New York City Center.


August 2013
Hostos Repertory Company is the only community college from North America to perform at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland.