Topeka, Kan. – Washburn University will host an inaugural Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration Banquet Sept. 14. Enjoy the richness of Hispanic culture with an authentic meal, entertainment from Grupo Folklorico Mi Sol de KC and a keynote address from Ernestor De La Rosa, the first chief diversity equity and inclusion (DEI) officer for the City of Topeka. MANA de Topeka will also be giving away a scholarship during the banquet to one current Washburn University student!

Washburn President JuliAnn Mazachek will also speak during the event. The public is invited to attend for a $15 fee for the meal.

- What: Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration Banquet
- When: 6 – 8 p.m., Sept. 14
- Where: Washburn Rooms A and B in the Memorial Union, on the Washburn University campus
- Details: The public is invited to join the Washburn community for $15 per meal, they need to register at to reserve a spot and a meal.

MANA de Topeka is a chapter of MANA, a national Latina organization founded in 1974. It continues to support Washburn University students and will be awarding a single, $500 scholarship to one student. All students attending the Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration Banquet will have the opportunity to win this one-time scholarship.

This banquet is sponsored by Washburn University Student Life, the Hispanic American Leadership Organization (HALO) and the Multicultural Intersectional Learning Space (MILS).

“This banquet is about taking time to celebrate the histories, cultures and contributions of Hispanic Americans,” said Dr. Eric Grospitch, vice president for student life, Washburn University. “And, recognizing that Washburn has a great population of Hispanic students, faculty and staff who contribute so much to our university every day.

“We know this extends to our Topeka community and we would love to have community partners join us Sept. 14 to help kick off Hispanic Heritage Month.”

About Ernestor De La Rosa

Del La Rosa currently serves as the City of Topeka’s first chief diversity equity and inclusion officer.  Under this role, he also oversees the Human Resources and Community Engagement departments. Governor Laura Kelly appointed Del La Rosa to serve on the Kansas Hispanic & Latino American Affairs Commission and the Kansas Racial Equity and Justice Commission. He is also part of the Thrive Rural Theory of Change Working Group with the Aspen Institute. He graduated from Wichita State University in 2014 with a master’s in public administration and was born and raised in Mexico, immigrating to the United States at the age of 12.

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Founded in 1865, Washburn University is a public institution with more than 6,000 students involved in more than 200 academic programs. Washburn’s programs lead to certification, associate, bachelor, master's degree or doctor of nursing practice and juris doctor degrees. The programs are offered through Washburn’s six primary academic units – College of Arts and Sciences, School of Applied Studies, School of Business, School of Nursing, School of Law and Washburn Institute of Technology (Washburn Tech).

    All programs are offered on either the 160-acre residential campus in the heart of Topeka, Kan., at Washburn Tech’s campus on Topeka’s west side or in the east Topeka facility. Washburn University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association and many of the individual programs have additional accreditations.

    Washburn is ranked best public regional university in Kansas and 14th best public regional university in the Midwest by U.S. News and World Report 2022-2023.

For further information, contact:
Joy Bailes
Assistant Director of Public Relations
Telephone: (785) 670-2153
Cell: (785) 230-1648
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