Raíces: Raza History at UNT highlights the Latino/a student experience at the University of North Texas; from our first Hispanic student in 1948 to the current organizations increasing activism and awareness of Latino/a culture at the University of North Texas today. In our celebration of these individuals, it is important to remember that a University, as an institution, is defined by its commitment to scholarship. The Latino/a students highlighted within this exhibit are all, first and foremost, scholars; they are also the first Latino football player, the first Latina yearbook editor, the first Latino athletic scholarship recipient, and so much more. These UNT alumni forged new ground in areas never before occupied by a Latino/a student, serving as role models and establishing the roots of excellence so that others might follow in their aim for greatness.
This exhibit of notable alumni is by no means exhaustive, but serves as a stepping stone for a larger dialogue concerning the great lengths the Latino/a Archival Initiative must endeavor toward. Some of the items displayed were graciously donated by UNT alumni and current faculty members, illustrating the gaps in the materials held by the University documenting the Latino/a experience in North Texas. The UNT Libraries’ Archives and Rare Books Department expresses its heartfelt gratitude to those community members who graciously contributed to the Raíces symposium and exhibit. We look forward to building on those partnerships, with our commitment serving as an inspiration for others to do the same.