Celestino José Limas joined the College July 1 in the newly created position of vice president for campus life and senior diversity officer. Reporting to President Daniel H. Weiss and serving as a member of the president’s cabinet, he will oversee all areas of student life and ensure that access and diversity are at the center of campus-life considerations.
“I am delighted that Celestino Limas is joining us in this important new position,” Weiss said. “He will collaborate closely with the provost and dean of the faculty, with the vice presidents for development and college relations, finance and administration, human resources, and communications, and with other institutional partners to move diversity and inclusiveness to the core of campus life and learning,” Weiss said.
“The innovative structure of the new vice presidency reflects the College’s commitment to integrate these issues fully in our deliberations and planning,” Weiss added. “At no time in the College’s or our nation’s history has this been a more important objective. This is an unprecedented opportunity to promote pluralism and dialogue on matters of diversity and to shape the student experience at Lafayette.”
Limas, who had been dean of students and chief diversity officer at Lewis & Clark College since 2008, brings more than 14 years’ experience leading successful collaborations to advance diversity and inclusiveness at colleges and universities. He was chief student affairs officer and dean of students at Carroll College from 2007 to 2008. His experience also includes positions in student affairs at the University of Redlands, Vassar College, the University of Oregon, Marquette University, and Nebraska Wesleyan University.
At Lewis & Clark, Limas oversaw campus dining, campus living, the Center for Career and Community Engagement, College Outdoors, conduct affairs, counseling services, health promotion and wellness, housing, international students and scholars, multicultural affairs, new student orientation, parent programs, physical education and athletics, student activities, student health services, and student support services, among other areas.
He chaired the college’s Diversity Advisory Committee, which includes students, staff, faculty, and alumni from the graduate, law, and undergraduate schools, plus trustees, and cultivated connections with local communities of color in Portland. He collaborated with academic deans on curricular and co-curricular diversity initiatives, with admissions to ensure that diverse classes entered and graduated, and with both academic deans and human resources to ensure an employee group that was diverse and aligned with the college’s inclusion aspirations. Limas also created tailored, comprehensive diversity efforts for offices, departments, and student groups.