By Bob Maginn, CEO
The Council of Independent Colleges’ (CIC) annual Presidents Institute is one of my favorite gatherings of the year. As the country’s leading annual meeting of independent college and university presidents, it facilitates fertile ground for constructive conversations, outside-the-box thinking, and innovative problem-solving.
As always, one of the Institute’s highlights was the Allen P. Splete Award for Outstanding Service. Named for the CIC’s celebrated former president, the award honors an individual, publication, or organization for significant contributions to independent higher education. As a proud sponsor of this award, I was honored to spend time with and present the award to an outstanding member of the higher education community.
This year, CIC honored Ernesto Nieto. Founder and President of the National Hispanic Institute (NHI), Mr. Nieto has made an indelible impact in independent higher education by creating a leadership institute for Latino youth.
Grounded in Mr. Nieto’s vision, NHI has become a pillar of leadership, community, and social entrepreneurship in independent higher education. In its thirty-sixth year, the organization has worked with over 120 institutions of higher education and 70,000 high-ability youth from across the nation.
According to its vision and mission, “NHI is a leading organization that fosters future community leaders for the expanding Latino community throughout the United States and Latin America,” and “creates experiences that engage achieving high school and college age youth in community leadership roles that advance our quality of life.”
Mr. Nieto’s commitment to this vision reaches beyond his role of president at NHI. Today, he serves on the Board of Trustees of Southwestern University as well as on the Board of Visitors and, in 2001, he authored the book Third Reality: Crafting a 21st Century Latino Agenda.
Congratulations to Mr. Nieto on his outstanding achievements in higher education!