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Friday, May 24, 2024

Regis University’s new president champions first-generation students, a college in Colorado where all thrive

It’s a new chapter for a 146-year-old Colorado institution. Regis University inaugurated its first Latino and first non-clergy president at the Denver campus on Friday.

“The title of president of Regis University is the greatest honor of my professional career and I am indeed humbled by it,” said Dr. Salvador Aceves during his inaugural remarks given at the St. John Francis Regis Chapel.

Regis University has record enrollment this fall at 6,000 students. It also recently earned federal designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution.

54% of Regis University students are the first in their family to go to college. That’s a source of pride for the university.

“We want to be able to create that pathway so that students are able to ease into what is the life of the university,” Aceves told CBS News Colorado.

U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar, a longtime neighbor and supporter of the university, said Regis graduates make an impact, “Because of what happens when they come to this university and when they leave and how they continue to contribute so much to the world and to the community.”

Aceves said, “Beginning with my parent’s guidance and mentorship, I am profoundly grateful to my entire family’s love.”

Himself a son of immigrants, Aceves’ life and success embody what he hopes is made possible for Regis University students.

“This is a country that has provided such a great opportunity for people like me, it’s through hard work and through study and through effort to be able to achieve something that I have to say, I never thought possible.”

Aceves discussed the demand for Regis University nurses. Nurses who not only excel with leading-edge health care skills, “But also ensuring that they have the heart and the empathy to be able to support the patients in need.”

The new president explained the Jesuit mission to develop the mind as well as the heart and soul and to provide service with and for others.

Aceves said, “For those who will come after us to continue to build the type of community that we not only want to be part of, but we also want to be proud of.”

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