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Sylvia Puente

Sylvia Puente

Leads Latino Policy Forum | Alumni Achievement Award | Class of 1980

Not everyone got to experience the Union like Sylvia Puente did.

Working on the building's board of directors for two years entitled the 2015 alumni achievement award winner to special privileges — including a solo visit to the Union tower that overlooks the Quad right after she took her last final 37 years ago.

"I remember the steep climb up the stairs and opening up a special bottle of spirits that I had been carrying around all day. As I looked out from this special view, I sipped on my bottle of tequila, reminiscing about my years of challenging moments and incredible opportunities as a student," says Puente, now the executive director of the Chicago-based Latino Policy Forum.

"Words cannot express the emotions of this achievement, being the first in four generations to complete college," added Puente, named to Hispanic Business magazine's list of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the United States.