Augustana has been named College of the Year by the National Hispanic Institute. College President Steven Bahls accepted the award at the NHI annual meeting in San Antonio.

The award recognizes Augustana for hosting the Midwest Great Debate each summer since 2004 and for support provided by the college’s admissions office.

NHI is a national and international organization that helps Latino young people envision themselves as future community leaders. Through NHI events such as the Midwest Great Debate, Hispanic students can practice their skills in leading and working with others and engage in critical discussions about their futures.

President Bahls said Augustana is committed to responding to population trends and increasing multicultural and international student outreach, enrollment and graduation rates.

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From 2003 to 2012, the percentage of multicultural students in each first-year class has increased from 8 percent to 22 percent. Today, 16.6 percent of Augustana students represent racial and ethnic minority groups.