The Hobart and William Smith Colleges student club Latin American Organization (LAO) is holding the fifth annual “Extravaganza” celebration this spring. The three-hour evening event features a variety of faculty, student, and guest presentations, culminating with keynote speaker Dominican author Junot Diaz. The dance concert and dinner are planned for 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 1, at The Barn, on the Colleges campus. There will be an after party from 11 p.m. until 4 a.m. for Extravaganza 2003 at the Barn. Tickets cost $7 for HWS students and $10 general admission, and can be purchased between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the student life and leadership office in Scandling Center.
Diaz was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and moved to the U.S. when he was 6-years-old. His fiction has been published in “Story,” “The New Yorker,” “The Paris Review,” “Best American Short Stories 1996” and “African Verse”. His published collection of short stories, “Drown,” was a New York Times Notable Book for 1996, one of the Village Voice Top 25 Best Books of the Year and ALA Best Books of 1996, shortlisted for PEN/Hemingway Award, and nominated for QPB's New Voices Award. The same collection was released in Spanish as “Negocios”. Diaz was named one of The New Yorker's Best 20 Writers Under 40 in 1999. He received a Guggenheim fellowship and was a finalist for the National Magazine Award for Fiction. He holds a bachelor's degree from Rutgers University and a master's degree from Cornell University.
In 1999 a tradition began with the Latin American Organization (LAO), of presenting awards to students who have made significant contributions in the community. Student recognition for their efforts is a key to promoting leadership on campus, and is a goal that the organization is working to meet this year. “Extravaganza” serves as a means of perpetuating cultural awareness on and off campus.
Read the press release.