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Luis Leal Luis Leal Endowed Chair

Luis Leal celebrating his 100th birthday (October 2007)

In April 1995 the Luis Leal Endowed Chair was inaugurated. The chair was established to bring prestige and distinction to the discipline and also to honor a true scholar in the field, Dr. Luis Leal. In a career spanning over fifty years, Professor Luis Leal significantly contributed to the study and understanding of Mexico, Latin America, and Chicanos in the United States. The Chair is structurally positioned 50 percent in the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies and 50 percent in the Chicano Studies Institute with teaching and research functions.

In January 1997, Professor Maria Herrera-Sobek, formerly a professor in the Department of Spanish at University of California, Irvine, was named the first holder of the Luis Leal Endowed Chair.  Professor Aída Hurtado, formerly a professor in the Department of Psychology at University of California, Santa Cruz was named the second holder of the Luis Leal Endowed Chair in 2010.

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