As part of the university’s participation in the “Year of Mexico in Los Angeles”, USC hosted legendary Dodger’s pitcher Fernando Valenzuela as he received a citation and award from his home state of Sonora, Mexico. A superstar in both Los Angeles and his home country, Valenzuela is one of the best left-handed pitchers and hitters in Major League history, and is currently a Spanish-language broadcaster for the Dodgers. Valenzuela’s 17-year career in Major League Baseball was marked by historic achievements, including becoming the first, and to date only, pitcher to win both Rookie of the Year and the Cy Young award in 1981. During what came to be called “Fernandomania,” Valenzuela also pitched a no-hitter on June 29, 1990, the only day in MLB history to witness two no-hitters.
Governor of Sonora Claudia Pavlovich presented the award to Valenzuela, citing his phenomenal career as an example of friendly binational collaboration and the result of hard work and dedication. In recognition of his achievements and for reflecting “the Sonoran spirit of struggle, and passion that we put into all that we do” Pavlovich presented him with a plaque and traditional Sonoran artwork.
Addressing USC students as part of the Diálogos con México (Dialogues with Mexico) speaker series sponsored by the US-Mexico Network @USC and Annenberg’s Center for Public Diplomacy, Pavlovich recounted her professional path to becoming the first female governor in the history of Sonora. She also emphasized the importance of US-Mexico collaboration. Pavlovich and the Sonoran Ministry of Education also met with the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy to discuss and sign an agreement for academic mobility and research collaborations.
“USC is proud to be among the leading US universities that are building and strengthening ties with Mexico. It is a relationship that benefits both USC and our global community when we work to bring together leaders and future leaders from both sides of the border in policy forums like today, collaborate on research to solve common challenges, and celebrate our common endeavors in the arts, athletics and academics” said vice president of strategic and global initiatives, Anthony Bailey.
The Government of Sonora’s visit is one of numerous activities the university is participating in for the “Year of Mexico in Los Angeles” in 2017, organized by the Consulate General of Mexico in Los Angeles, to increase dialogue and cultural exchange between USC students and leaders, artists and athletes from Mexico.
By Angela McCracken