UA to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Day on Saturday
The day will include the UA football game and a pregame tailgate, which feature activities celebrating the Hispanic community.

By Ellen Moss, University Communications
Oct. 16, 2007

The University of Arizona will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Day on Saturday with a slate of activities aimed at reaching out to the Hispanic community and encouraging more Hispanic youth to attend college.

The theme for the day is "Abriendo Puertas," which means opening doors.

Now in its third year, Hispanic Heritage Day will include a tailgate party before the UAfootball game against Stanford, a poster contest for students in the Tucson and Sunnyside school districts, the recognition of Hispanic scholars at halftime and more.

Hispanic Heritage Day, which is sponsored by Arizona Athletics, the UA Hispanic Alumni Club and the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, is an opportunity for the UA to reach out to Tucson’s Hispanic population, said Phoebe Chalk, assistant director of athletics for public affairs and special events.

“During Hispanic Heritage Day, we hope that families that may not have thought about higher education before can see the reality of the experience and feel the spirit here at the UA,” Chalk said.

Former UA football kicker Max Zendejas will be the honorary captain for the day. A UA Sports Hall of Fame member, Zendejas said he’s grateful to the UA and proud to be able to take part in Saturday’s festivities.

“Any time I can do anything for the UA or for the Hispanic community, I’m all for it,” he said.

Zendejas said that while much has changed at the UA since he played for the Wildcats from 1982-85, the University is still a “great place to focus on football and academics.”

As a student, Zendejas said he often felt like he was the only Hispanic person on campus. Now, during trips to the UA to see his nephew, Alex Zendejas, a freshman kicker for the Wildcats, Zendejas said the diversity on campus is unbelievable.

“I think it’s incredible,” Zendejas said of the UA’s goal to have 25 percent Hispanic enrollment.

Zendejas hopes that Hispanic Heritage Day inspires participants to become involved in the Hispanic community.

“There are lots of successful Hispanics,” he said. “Hopefully this will get people to be part of the community.”

One highlight of the day will be a special presentation during halftime, when UA Hispanic Alumni Association scholarship recipients will be recognized for their academic achievements. Of the 185 recipients, about 75 are expected to appear on the field to receive congratulations from UA President Robert N. Shelton, Hispanic Alumni Association President Dominic Ortega and Pima County Board of Supervisors Chairman Richard Elias. The names of all the recipients will appear on the scoreboard.

Also appearing on the scoreboard at halftime will be the winners of the Hispanic Heritage poster contest. Winners in four age groups – kindergarten-second grade, third-fifth grades, sixth-eighth grades and ninth-12th grades – received six tickets to the game and their art, and the art of other entrants, will be displayed on campus.

Before the game, the Tucson community is invited to attend a tailgate on the UA Mall, which will feature mariachi music, food from El Charro restaurant and drinks from PepsiCo Inc. and Golden Eagle Distributors. Tickets to the tailgate and the game start at $14.

The tailgate begins at 1 p.m. and the football game starts at 4 p.m. Tickets are available by calling 520-621-CATS, visiting or visiting the McKale Ticket Office.

Extra info


Hispanic Heritage Day


UA Mall


Oct. 20, Tailgate at 1 p.m., football game at 4 p.m.


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