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President Núñez honored by 3 national immigrant rights organizations

Published on April 04, 2024

President Núñez honored by 3 national immigrant rights organizations

Houston, TX - On Friday, March 29, Elsa Núñez, president of Eastern Connecticut State University, was one of 11 recipients of the first SUCCESS Awards, hosted in Houston, TX, by TheDream.US, the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, and Immigrants Rising. The SUCCESS Awards recognize committed institutions, student advocates and higher education leaders who are supporting undocumented students’ access and success on their campuses and beyond.  

Núñez was one of three university presidents recognized — Lane Glenn, president of Northern Essex Community College and Nancy Cantor, Chancellor of Rutgers University-Newark, being the others — in addition to six institutional winners and two student honorees. 

“I am deeply honored by this award,” said Núñez. “As someone from the western highlands of Puerto Rico, I know personally of the transformative power of a college degree. Eastern was one of the first institutions to welcome Dreamers to our campus. I have been privileged to watch more than 400 Dream.US scholars become leaders on our diverse campus. They are volunteers in our local community and they excel as academically distinguished students. Our Dreamer graduates are employed by Fortune 500 companies, are graduate students at Ivy League institutions, and leave an inspirational legacy for future Dreamers across the country.” 

Gaby Pacheco, president and CEO of TheDream.US, said: “We are so excited to celebrate such an incredible diversity of champions and leaders across the country. Some are defending tuition equity, others are expanding it; some are working to create new structures and others working creatively within existing structures. Their dedication to serving their students makes a difference in first-generation immigrant students' journeys toward college and career success.” 

Miriam Feldblum, executive director of the Presidents’ Alliance for Higher Education and Immigration, said: “Our inaugural SUCCESS Awards ceremony recognized a diverse group of public and private institutions, higher education leaders and student advocates committed to supporting undocumented students nationwide. This ceremony was an important opportunity to recognize that these leaders, institutions and students are working to drive innovation, foster excellence and contribute to the economic prosperity of our communities and country.” 

Iliana Perez, executive director of Immigrants Rising said: “We are inspired by the student leaders, practitioners and institutions that bravely use their voices and resources, even when it's difficult, in support of a more inclusive and welcoming world for undocumented students. With the inaugural SUCCESS awards, we recognize, applaud and give thanks to the ones who are creating a transformative impact on countless lives.” 

About TheDream.US 

TheDream.US is the nation’s largest college and career success program for undocumented immigrant students, having provided more than 10,000 college scholarships to Dreamers attending more than 80 partner colleges in 21 states and Washington, DC. We believe everyone, regardless of where they were born, should have equitable access to a college education, a meaningful career, and opportunities to contribute to the communities they call home. For more information on TheDream.US, visit  

About the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration 

The nonpartisan, nonprofit Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration brings college and university presidents and chancellors together on the immigration issues that impact higher education, our students, campuses, communities and nation. We work to support undocumented, international and refugee students and advance forward-looking immigration policies and practices at the federal level, in our states, and across our college campuses. The alliance is composed of 550+ college and university presidents and chancellors of public and private colleges and universities, enrolling more than five million students in 42 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico. For more information, visit 

About Immigrants Rising 

Since 2006, Immigrants Rising has transformed undocumented individuals and fueled broader changes around the country. With Immigrant Rising’s resources and support, undocumented people are able to get an education, pursue careers and build a brighter future for themselves and their communities. Highly respected within the field, Immigrants Rising has a proven track record of supporting the success and mobility of undocumented students through collaborative efforts with students, educators and institutions. Immigrants Rising is a women-led, BIPOC-led and immigrant-led 501c3 organization. For more information, visit 

Written by Ed Osborn