Interview with Ricardo Fernández on July 10, 2019

CENTRO: 100 Puerto Ricans Oral History Project, 2013-

In this interview, Fernández describes his parents, growing up in Puerto Rico and significant higher education experiences that led him to become President of Lehman College President, a position he would serve in for 26 years.

Part One 00:00:00 He begins by describing his mother and father and his early years in Santurce, Puerto Rico. 00:07:32 In continuation, he describes memories related to the 1950s nationalist revolts that took place at and around his high school. 00:13:23 He goes on to discuss why he chose Marquette University for his undergraduate degree and his early experiences living and studying in Milwaukee. 00:21:40 He compares the Midwest to the East Coast, while working on his PhD at Princeton University. 00:26:05 Fernández shares details about his transition to teaching at Marquette University and his involvement in the Latino community. 00:35:54 He describes his role as Director for the Spanish Speaking Outreach Institute Director at the University of Wisconsin, and how this experience raised his awareness of the need for Spanish literature departments to become more inclusive 00:47:16 Fernández reflects on raising bilingual children while getting involved in bilingual education policy.

Part Two 00:00:00 He discusses leading one of the first technical assistance centers designed to provide training and support to school districts on desegregation and the needs of English Language Learners. 00:10:30 In the last half of the interview, Fernández shares his collaboration with the Center for Puerto Rican Studies and the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund that leads him to consider the top leadership position at Lehman College in New York City. 00:20:55 He discusses his move to the Bronx and his first impressions of Lehman College 00:32:00 Fernández ends the interview by sharing his thoughts on leadership and notable mentors in his life and career.

July 10, 2019, Recording date
Ricardo Fernández
Raquel Ríos
1h 43m 37.0s
Location of interview

Lehman College, Bronx, NY

Object Type
Moving Image
Related Keywords
Higher education, Education, Community, Leaders, Activism
Individuals or Organizations Mentioned
Margarita Marchese Ortero, Luis Muñoz Marin, Pedro Albizu Campos, Vicente Geigel Polanco, John F. Kennedy, Joe Biden, Orlando Costas, Gerald Flynn, Samuel Betances, Manuel Maldonado Denis, Aurea Rodriguez, Francisco Franco, Frank Bonilla, Isaura Santiago, Richard Barsom, Harold Jacobs, Joseph Murphy, David Dinkins, Fernando Ferrer, June Eisland, Roberto Ramirez, José Rivera, Frank Bocchi, Lyndon B. Johnson, Central High School, University of Puerto Rico, University of Maryland, George Washington University, Columbia University, Academia de Perpetua Socorro, Partido Popular Democrático (P.R.), Partido Independentista Puertorriqueño, El Imparcial, El Mundo, El Diario/ La Prensa, San Juan Star, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Fordham University, Georgetown University, Loyola University, Milwaukee Braves, Yankee Stadium, University of Notre Dame, University of Texas at Houston, Stony Brook University, Milwaukee Christian Center, Centro de la Comunidad Unida, University of Chicago, The Brown Berets, Young Lords, PS 25 Bilingual School, Hearst Foundation, Curriculum Adaptation Network for Bilingual Bicultural Education, New York City. Board of Education, Chicago. Board of Education, New York City. City Council, Instituto Oftálmico de Puerto Rico, New York University, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, City University of New York. Lehman College, Marquette University, Puerto Rican Legal Defense & Education Fund, Center for Puerto Rican Studies
Related Places
Lehman College, City University of New York (interview location), Vega Baja, PR (is referenced), Salinas, PR (is referenced), Santurce, San Juan, PR (is referenced), New York City (is referenced), The Bronx (is referenced), Aguadilla, PR (is referenced), Washington, DC (is referenced), Río Piedras (is referenced), Aibonito, PR (is referenced), Milwaukee, WI (is referenced), Mexico (is referenced), Vietnam (is referenced), Belmont (is referenced), Shorewood (is referenced), Miami, FL (is referenced), Spain (is referenced), Barcelona (is referenced), Madrid (is referenced), Scottsbluff (is referenced), Kansas (is referenced), Kansas City (is referenced), Detroit, MI (is referenced), Cleveland (is referenced), Minneapolis (is referenced), Texas (is referenced), California (is referenced), Riverdale (is referenced), Albany, NY (is referenced), Miramar (is referenced)
Related Dates
1914, Date mentioned
1930s, Date mentioned
1909, Date mentioned
1927, Date mentioned
1931, Date mentioned
1938, Date mentioned
1948, Date mentioned
1950, Date mentioned
1952, Date mentioned
1958, Date mentioned
1950s, Date mentioned
1960s, Date mentioned
1964, Date mentioned
1965, Date mentioned
1969, Date mentioned
1970, Date mentioned
1972, Date mentioned
1970s, Date mentioned
1980s, Date mentioned
1975, Date mentioned
1940s, Date mentioned
1981, Date mentioned
1972, Date mentioned
1968, Date mentioned
1989, Date mentioned
1990, Date mentioned
CENTRO: 100 Puerto Ricans Oral History Project, 2013-. Interview with Ricardo Fernández on July 10, 2019: RFer.2019.07.10.fullInterview. Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library & Archives, Hunter College, CUNY. Web. 11 Aug 2020.
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