President José Luis Cruz Rivera was selected for the Dr. Loui Olivas Distinguished Leadership in Higher Education Award by The Pete C. Garcia Victoria Foundation.
The annual award recognizes outstanding administrators in higher education who have demonstrated excellence in the profession and have championed Latiné students, faculty and staff. The award is named for Loui Olivas, a professor emeritus from Arizona State University.
Cruz Rivera, who is in his second year as president of NAU, received the award at a ceremony Wednesday in Phoenix. Throughout his time as president, he has focused on increasing access to higher education for all Arizona residents regardless of background and ensuring their education prepares graduates for the fast-paced, constantly changing global economy.
“Thanks to the Victoria Foundation for this honor and the recognition of all we have accomplished at NAU during our 17th presidency,” Cruz Rivera said. “I appreciate the support of my university and community colleagues who do so much to fulfill the promise of higher education.”
Pete Garcia founded the Victoria Foundation in 2008 to aid in improving conditions in impoverished communities throughout Arizona. Supporting higher education through scholarships has always been a major part of the foundation’s mission, as cost remains the primary reason that underprivileged high school students choose not to go to college.