By Annika Darling, CTLatinoNews.com
Yale University was founded in 1701. Over 250 years later, in the early 1970s, the first Latinos stepped foot on the prestigious campus. For these Latinos, Yale was a Sisyphean challenge — a sea of unfamiliar affluence never before traversed by Latinos. They soon realized the only way to survive the resulting ostracism and isolation would be to ban together. As a result of their determination to succeed, today, there are approximately 5,000 Yale Latino Alumni. The Early Years
Former Yale Associate Dean, Rosalinda Garcia, explained, “Most of the first Latinos who went to Yale had a very hard time. One, it was a racist climate, and two, these students were brought onto campus and they weren’t given any resources to succeed.”
Garcia describes the first “big” class of Latinos – it had a total of five (in a class of thousands), and it was common for them to be called derogatory names around campus.