The Mary Ontiveros House

House Dedication

The Office for Inclusive Excellence House is now the Mary Ontiveros House in honor of Colorado State University’s first vice president for diversity and first Latina vice president.
Founded in 2010, the Office for Inclusive Excellence, formerly known as the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, is committed to fostering an inclusive campus environment through the active engagement of Colorado State University employees and students.

The naming marks the first time a building at CSU has been named after a Latinx individual, according to the Office for Inclusive Excellence.
Ontiveros, who passed away on Feb. 19, 2022, was an alumna who spent more than 50 years on campus as a student and employee. She left a lasting legacy championing diversity, equity and inclusion.‍

When Ontiveros arrived in the fall of 1969 from Pueblo, Colorado, the first-generation college student was engaged and committed to social justice. When she transitioned from student to employee, her impact grew, and so did her vision. She was part of the Project Go team — an organization that brought the cultural and resource centers to CSU.

“My mother worked tirelessly to create a campus that was inclusive as well as to address the issues that the institution faced in its efforts to strive for excellence in the areas of inclusivity and diversity,” her son, Matthew Ontiveros Burt, said. “She will forever be remembered in the hearts of many as a pioneer and the embodiment of a true leader.”

Much of what defines CSU regarding diversity and access can be traced back to Ontiveros, according to the Office for Inclusive Excellence. She was instrumental in many university-wide initiatives, including the Principles of Community, policies for pronoun inclusion, the Institutional Diversity Plan and the creation of the Faith, Belief, and Religious Inclusion calendar, to name a few.

Mary Ontiveros drawing

Remembering the Office’s Founding Vice President, Mary Ontiveros

As Vice President for Diversity from the office’s formation in 2010 until her retirement on December 31, 2020, Mary Ontiveros led Colorado State’s diversity efforts throughout her nearly 48-year career at CSU. Mary passed away on February 19, 2022.

An alumna of CSU, Ontiveros was an employee of CSU since 1974, working in leadership positions in Admissions, as a faculty affiliate, and special assistant to the president of CSU-Pueblo. She served on numerous CSU committees, councils, and task forces, and was a member of several professional organizations. You can read more about Mary’s legacy and career in the following tributes:

The Ontiveros Inclusive Fellowship Program

We honor Mary’s legacy on campus through the Ontiveros Inclusive Fellowship Program. The fellowship provides monetary funding to make participation in an inclusive fellowship possible. This program is designed to remove barriers to gaining academic and professional development for students who might otherwise not be able to access these opportunities. These Inclusive Fellowships are available to all students, regardless of citizenship status.

Watch the Celebration of Life for Mary Ontiveros