Photography Exhibit Celebrates History of Latino Students at University of Kentucky

By Ruth Brown

This photo of UK's Cosmopolitan Club in 1945 is an example of a time when both President Huguette Balzola from Ciudad de México, Mexico, and Vice President Raul Lardizabal from Juticalpa, Honduras, held influential leadership roles.

As National Hispanic Heritage Month 2019 begins, University of Kentucky presents a photography exhibit titled “A Visual History of Latino Students at the University of Kentucky, 1865-2019.” The free public exhibition will be on display at William T. Young Library this fall.

Curated by UK undergraduate Daniela Gamez Salgado, this collection of archival and contemporary photography presents visual evidence of important firsts in the history of Latino students at the university. The photos chosen for this exhibit focus on individual student experiences and collective student action, while also celebrating the diversity of experiences and identities encompassed by students of Latin American descent at the university. Commenting on the exhibit, Gamez said, “As the first official collection of the history of Latino students at the University of Kentucky, this exhibit helps us better understand and analyze the changing needs of this historically underserved community and encourages us all to rethink what it means to be a Wildcat.”

The exhibit will be located in the Rose Street entrance to the Young Library and can be viewed during regular library hours through Nov. 1. An online image gallery from the exhibition can be viewed at

In honor of the exhibit, UK alumnus and former director of the UK Martin Luther King Center, Ricardo Nazario y Colón, will give a lecture titled “Beyond the Cosmic Race: Latinequis in the United States.” The free public lecture, with reception to follow, will be held 4-5:30 p.m. Oct. 10, in Gatton Student Center Room 331.

The exhibit, lecture and reception are sponsored by UK LibrariesDepartment of Hispanic Studies, College of Arts and Sciences Year of Equity ProgramMartin Luther King Center and the Latino Student Union.

If you would like more information about this exhibit or corresponding lecture, please contact the curator, Daniela Gamez Salgado at or Ruth Brown, lecturer of Spanish in the Department of Hispanic Studies, at or 859-420-7884.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion two years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. The Chronicle of Higher Education judged us a “Great College to Work for,”  and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for three straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.