Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College was created by an act of the Board of Higher Education on April 22, 1968, in response to the demands of Puerto Rican and other Hispanic leaders who urged the establishment of a college to meet the needs of the South Bronx. In September of 1970, the college admitted a charter class fo 623 students at the site of a former tire factory at 475 Grand Concourse. Enrollment grew rapidly to more than 2,000 student by June of 1974. That same year the New York State Legislature acted to ease an increasing space shortage by passing a special bill to acquire the "500 Building" across the Grand Concourse from the original site. Also in that same year, Hostos was granted full and unconditional accreditation following a highly favorable evaluation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
The fiscal crisis of the mid- 1970’s resulted in an effort to merge Hostos with another institution as a cost-saving measure. This effort was rejected by the college and the community, which led the State Legislature to include Hostos’ existence in the Landes Higher Education Act, passed on June 9, 1976. Since the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, enrollment at Hostos has grown steadily. Hostos Community College is part of the City of New York, the nation’s largest urban university.
The impact of Eugenio María de Hostos Community College on the people of the South Bronx cannot be underestimated. Since 1970 it has served as an anchor to the predominantly Latino community surrounding it. The institutional mission of Hostos Community College was founded on the work and contribution of an intellectual giant—Eugenio María de Hostos. Widely known throughout Latin America as a strong advocate of civic reforms, Hostos wanted knowledge and freedom for his own people and for all the people of the world. As the first college in the United States to bear his name, we strive for no less. We are his posterity, and in and through us the work of Hostos lives on.
Board of Higher Education approves the establishment of Community College Number Eight.
Board of Higher Education formally founds college.
Cándido de León appointed first dean of administration and proposes organization of the College.
College is named after Eugenio María de Hostos, making it the first college in the continental United States so honoring a Puerto Rican.
De León’s proposal adopted by Board.
Hostos opens its doors to charter class of 623.
Cándido de León appointed president, thus becoming the first Puerto Rican to head an institution of higher learning in the U.S.
“Libra” Program established.
Bilingual approach to instruction is in place.
The campaign for the “500 Building” begins. Rallies held at Board and in Albany.
“500 Building” acquired through special legislation passed in Albany.
College granted full and unconditional accreditation by Commission on Higher Education.
City’s fiscal crisis worsens. Rumors of the merger of Hostos with Bronx Community College begin to circulate. College begins to mobilize.
University announces plan to merge Hostos with Bronx Community College.
Board approves proposal to merge.
The State Legislature passes “Landes Act,” which guarantees the existence of Hostos.
President de León resigns, Anthony Santiago named acting president.
Enrollment at record level, College Community resumes campaign for “500 Building.” Hostos United is founded.
Peaceful 3-month take-over of B-building; leads to 1986 Master Plan.
Mayor approves bond sale for renovation of building.
Dr. Flora Mancuso Edwards appointed president. Reorganization of Academic Division begins.
Reorganization plan approved by the Board of Trustees.
Hostos accreditation is fully and unconditionally reaffirmed.
Planning council formed. Reorganization of student services begins.
College begins to move into “500 Building.”
Community Advisory Council formed.
Hostos Culture and Arts Program begin its first season.
Hostos Day Care Center officially opens.
Hostos Solidarity Coalition formed to coordinate progressive political activity.
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.
Dr. Isaura Santiago appointed President of Hostos Community College.
First student graduation committee created.
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.”
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.
Students begin attending classes in a section of the East Academic Complex.
Opening of the East Academic Complex and the Center for the Arts & Culture.
Dr. Dolores Fernandez appointed President of Hostos Community College.
The “Hostos Renaissance,” a renewed commitment to rigorous career and liberal arts programs.
Hostos Center for the Arts and Culture receives special recognition from international Music Hall of Fame.
Hostos Center for Arts & Culture receives award from Municipal Art Society of NY for excellence in programming and science.
The “Hostos Age of Discovery,” a new focus on making Hostos the pride of CUNY through a commitment to excellence.
Men’s basketball team wins NJCAA National Division III Championship.
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.
Educator and Scholar Dr. Félix V. Matos Rodríguez appointed president of Hostos Community College.
Hostos celebrates the 40th anniversary of its Dental Hygiene Program.
U.S. Associate Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor delivers commencement address.
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.
Hostos Repertory Company wins two awards at Kennedy Center’s American College Theater Festival.
President Félix Matos Rodríguez unveils five-year strategic plan.
Ribbon cutting ceremony inaugurates $9.1 million renovated and redesigned 5th Floor of 500 Grand Concourse Building.
President Félix Matos Rodríguez serves as Grand Marshal of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade.
National Science Foundation Awards Hostos more than $900,000 for STEM Projects.
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).
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.
The Caimans men’s basketball team enters Top 10 in NJCAA Division III rankings.
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.
Hostos celebrates official 45th anniversary. College marks its birthday with large community service project, THE BIG EVENT.
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.
Hostos Repertory Company is the only community college from North America to perform at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland.
The following are examples of OneSearch searches that bring up interesting primary and secondary sources on the history of Hostos:
Resources from the Hostos Archives and the Hostos Library provide information about the history of Hostos Community College.