A portrait of Treasurer of the United States Rosie Rios ’87 was unveiled during a special ceremony in Winthrop House, where Rios lived as an undergraduate. It is the first portrait of a Latina to hang on a wall in Harvard College, according to S. Allen Counter, director of the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations, which oversees the Portraiture Project that recognizes African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Latino Americans, Native Americans, and European-Americans who have served Harvard with distinction for many years. “Rosie exemplifies the qualities of excellence, equity, inclusion and diversity that represents the mission of the Harvard Foundation,” Counter said.
Rios, a first generation Mexican-American, said the experience of have having her portrait hanging in a Harvard building was humbling. “I was overwhelmed when I received the call from Dr. Counter telling me I would receive this honor,” Rios said. At the unveiling ceremony, students Cristina Cornejo ’15, Tiffany Ramos ’16, and Dorothy Villareal ’15, paid tribute to Rios. “Madam Treasurer Rios leads with passion and commitment,” Villareal said. “Through her actions, I realize that I am here because of those before me. I am not alone. I walk in her steps, and in those of other powerful leaders. I look forward to a future when, thanks to the foundation, I can come back as an alumna and the portraits along the halls of Harvard will reflect the diversity that this university cherishes,” she concluded.