Long time Barrett, The Honors College supporter Alicia Quesada leaves a proud legacy

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March 18, 2021

Some of Alicia “Alice” Quesada’s proudest moments were spent with students from Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University. 

For many years, Quesada attended the honors college’s Celebrating Honors Symposium of Research and Creative Projects, a Barrett signature event that happens annually each spring and highlights the many exceptional presentations designed by students to exhibit their senior theses and creative projects. 

Quesada came to the event to meet students who had been awarded the Jose Franco and Francisca Ocampo Quesada Research Award, a scholarship supporting thesis research that increases the understanding of the Hispanic community and promotes interdisciplinary work of Hispanic researchers. 

After her retirement from the Social Security Administration in 1984, Quesada, her siblings and their spouses established an endowment at ASU to fund the Quesada Award. Several Quesada family members attended and graduated ASU over the years, creating an affinity for the university and a desire to support students.

“Alice got to talk to Quesada scholars about their work and sit with them at dinner after the symposium. Being there with students was where she wanted to be and where she felt most proud of them and their accomplishments,” said Phil Hershkowitz, Quesada’s nephew. 

“She was always amazed at how smart all the (Quesada Award) applicants and recipients were. She was so proud to be able to help people who were so outstanding,” added Hershkowitz, who reviews applications and assists with selecting Quesada Award recipients.

Quesada, a native of Wickenburg, Ariz., passed away March 8, 2020 at the age of 96. She was born Oct. 8, 1923, in Wickenburg, the third of five children of the late Jose Franco and Francisca Ocampo Quesada. She was the granddaughter of Teodoro Mazon Ocampo and Mariana Rodriguez Ocampo who settled in Wickenburg in 1860.

Her legacy will live on in the Quesada Award and the next generation of her family who will continue to help choose its recipients. 

“Alice Quesada and her family are part of the fabric of Arizona’s history.  Alice loved undergraduate students and loved coming to their presentations of their thesis research.  And by specifically supporting research on Latinx/Hispanic history and culture, she opened their eyes to the contributions her people have made to our state,” said Barrett, The Honors College Dean Mark Jacobs. 

“The Quesada family truly represents giving and family legacy. For generations to come, Barrett students will advance Hispanic/Latinx research in the Quesada family name. We are so proud to work with descendants of this family and celebrate student potential,” said Chelsie Bruggeman, director of development for Barrett, The Honors College. 

Read about the Quesada Award’s impact on students here:

Honors students use Quesada scholarship to build bridge-to-college program 

Lizette Yslas studies Hispanic millennial marketing

Quesada research award funds five student projects

March 18, 2020 is Sun Devil Giving Day, a 24-hour fundraising event for ASU. Learn how you can support Barrett, The Honors College.

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