Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor keeps word, will speak at Hostos Community College commencement
The New York Times
June 4, 2010
When Sonia Sotomayor agreed to deliver last year’s commencement speech at Hostos Community College, the school was thrilled. Her mother, Celina, had graduated from the college’s nursing program in 1973, and Ms. Sotomayor was an exemplary role model, having traversed an invisible canyon — from a Bronx housing project to Princeton University to a prominent seat on the federal bench.
But two weeks before the graduation last June, the judge was nominated by President Obama to the Supreme Court. The speech was scuttled.
Officials at Hostos, a scrappy college in the South Bronx that is part of the City University of New York, assumed the opportunity was gone. But Ms. Sotomayor is expected to arrive on the small campus on Friday, accompanied by her mother and brother, to make good on her earlier commitment. She will give the commencement address in the evening — this time as a Supreme Court justice.
For Hostos, which was founded in 1968 as a bilingual college with a mandate to educate the waves of new Latino immigrants settling in the Bronx, Justice Sotomayor’s visit is both a vindication and a validation.
“The history of Hostos is one of struggle,” said Melissa Diaz, 26, this year’s valedictorian, whose mother also attended Hostos. “The fact that Justice Sotomayor also comes from this neighborhood is a crowning achievement. I think she’ll give the college the name it deserves. It’s humbling.”