Goizueta Pavilion opens at Richter
UM celebrates Cuban Heritage Collection’s new library facilities
Over 1,100 were present at a black-tie gala event commemorating the new home of the Cuban Heritage Collection.
The 10,000-square-foot Robert C. Goizueta Pavilion, on the second floor of the Richter Library, is named after the late Cuban-born CEO of the Coca-Cola Company.
The Jan. 28 dedication coincided with the birth date of the Cuban patriot Jose Marti and was made possible through a $2.5 million gift from the Goizueta Foundation.
“Gracias, gracias, gracias for these wonderful gifts,” President Donna E. Shalala said. “The Goizueta Pavilion is a concrete symbol of the University’s commitment to Cuban studies and the preservation of Cuban history and culture,” said University President Donna E. Shalala.
“Thanks to the generosity of the Goizueta family, the Cuban Heritage Collection [CHC] will be able to continue to gather and make accessible materials necessary for the study, analysis and understanding of the Cuban experience for generations to come,” said Esperanza B. de Varona, CHC director. “[The Pavilion] is truly the home of my dreams.”
Javier C. Goizueta, the son of Robert C. Goizueta, thanked all those who helped in the realization of the new Pavilion during a speech to the crowd.
“Your work, your passion, your entire life has been dedicated to a Cuba that once flourished, a Cuba that was once free,” Goizueta said of de Varona. “It would be impossible to recognize at this ceremony the hundreds of people who have helped to make this Cuban collection possible for all of us to enjoy.”
Many of those present appreciated the efforts behind the creation of the Pavilion.
“The whole thing is beautiful,” said Vivian Pacheco, of the Richter Library. “The sacrifices and hard work of many have finally been turned into a reality.”
“This is a great way to preserve our Cuban roots and heritage,” said Alberto Pacheco.
Currently, the CHC is the largest collection of materials documenting the Cuban exile and Cuban-American experience, as well as the largest repository of historical and cultural Cuban materials outside of Cuba.
Many credit the vastness of the collection to the arrival of thousands of Cuban exiles in the early 1960s, who brought with them many artifacts and now-historical documents from the island.
However, it was not until 1998, that the Richter Library’s vast and growing holdings of Cuban, Cuban exile and Cuban-American materials were brought together under the CHC.
“It is a privilege to assist the Cuban Heritage Collection in its important educational and archival mission,” Mrs. Goizueta said.
“It is an incredible honor to know that there is such a large part of UM that shares our culture,” said Cristina Arriaza, vice-president of the Federation of Cuban Students [FEC].
“It’s great to know that such a large part of the community has shown support for the project,” said Yadelene Riesgo treasurer of FEC.
Today, the new Pavilion houses a collection that spans over 400 years and consists of books; periodicals; special materials such as maps, posters and photographs; and collections of personal and corporate papers.
Through a recent grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences, CHC has created a Digital Collection which is helping make selected archival materials available online to the general public.
“This is great, especially because it allows us young people to make a connection with the past – with what could have been and what will hopefully come,” Roberto Castro, president of FEC, said.
Many who are close to the CHC hope that students, faculty, staff and members of the local community will donate materials to the Pavilion so that the collection may continue to grow.
“I am sure that there are individuals within the local community who possess historic materials which will be better preserved in the new Pavilion,” said Sara Sanchez, a retired Latin-American bibliographer at Richter. “Whether it be letters or political clippings or items having to do with the revolution, I encourage anyone who may have these types of items to donate them so that future generations can use them, learn from them, and have them readily accessible.”
For more information regarding the Robert C. Goizueta Pavilion, contact the Richter Library at 305-284-4900.
Jorge Arauz can be contacted at email@example.com. Leigha Taber can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.