On May 3, Diversity House was officially renamed the Mary Ontiveros House by the Colorado State University Office for Inclusive Excellence. It is the first building on campus to be named for a Latina.
The ceremony, which took place on the building’s front lawn at Shields and Laurel streets, was attended by about 275 people, including Ontiveros’s family and friends; faculty, staff, and administrators from across campus; CSU President Amy Parsons; System Chancellor Tony Frank and several members of the Board of Governors; and elected officials.
Ontiveros (B.S., ’73; M.Ed., ’79) invested 50 years at CSU, starting as a first-generation student in 1969. After graduation, she served in a variety of leadership positions: executive director of admissions, associate vice president in the Division of Enrollment and Access, and faculty member in the School of Education. Mary O., as she was universally known, was a lifetime member of the Alumni Association.
In 2010, she was named by then-President Frank as the University’s first vice president for diversity – CSU’s first Latina vice president. In that role, she established an office that grew to 10 staff members providing campus with comprehensive training and advocacy, and developed the Principles of Community.
Ontiveros, who retired Dec. 31, 2020, passed away Feb. 19, 2022, after a long battle with cancer.