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Cecilia and Tony Burciaga Community Development Award

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Award Purpose

The award seeks to pay tribute to Cecilia and Jose Antonio Burciaga and honor the many contributions they made to Stanford University and the Chicano/Latino community. The award, initiated by Professor Jerry Porras, is made possible by contributions from faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends.

Nominee Characteristics

  • Involved and motivated in student and community work
  • Strong academic performance and future goals
  • Creative
  • Courageous
  • Caring
  • Self-sacrificing
  • Always available
  • Nurturing
  • Visionary
  • Innovative
  • Community builder


Any member of the Stanford community may nominate a graduating senior by submitting a nomination to El Centro Chicano in the spring quarter of every academic year. A nomination form will be emailed via the Comunidad mail listserv.

Selection Process

Nominations will be reviewed by the Burciaga Award Foundation Board, which consists of faculty, staff and students. The award will be presented at the Chicano/Latino Graduation Ceremony.


See past recipients of this award.

About Cecilia and Tony Burciaga's Legacy

Cecilia and Tony Burciaga

Tony and Cecilia served as Resident Fellows in Casa Zapata from 1985 to 1994. Tony and Cecilia started a rich tradition in Casa Zapata of various Chicano and Latino-related educational events and gatherings. In Casa Zapata, Burciaga painted several murals with students. His most well-known mural is the critically acclaimed "Last Supper of Chicano Heroes" in the Casa Zapata dining hall. Burciaga placed these figures sitting around the table in the traditional image of "The Last Supper." Included in this image were people such as César Chávez, Dolores Huerta, Che Guevara, Frida Kahlo, Luis Valdez, Martin Luther King, Jr. and others. It is part of a larger mural entitled "The History of Maize."


Jose Antonio “Tony” Burciaga

Muralist, artist, poet, writer and community leader Jose Antonio “Tony” Burciaga (1940-1996) wrote four books—Spilling the Beans, Drink Cultura, Undocumented Love and Weedee Peepo— and published articles in the LA Times, Texas Monthly, the Christian Science Monitor, Vista and Hispanic Magazine. He was also a co-founder of the Latino Comedy troupe Culture Clash and an accomplished muralist. Burciaga received the National Hispanic Heritage Award for Literature, 1922. Undocumented Love (1992), a book of poetry and drawings, won the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. Other awards he received include the Short Story Fellowship in 1989 and an Honorable Mention for Journalism from the World Affairs Council in San Francisco. He was also honored and inducted into the El Paso Hall of Fame.


Cecilia Preciado Burciaga

Cecilia Preciado Burciaga (1945-2013) served in various positions, including associate dean of graduate studies, associate provost for faculty affairs, and assistant to the president as director of the Office of Chicano Affairs at Stanford University. In her post, she became very active in the support and formation of the Chicano community at Stanford, including the creation of El Centro Chicano, hiring of early Chicano and Latino faculty members, the expansion of graduate student programming, and the integration of Chicano and Latino undergraduates into the Stanford community. The tumultuous firing from her position as associate dean and development officer for student resources in early 1994 by then-Provost Condoleezza Rice resulted in a three-day hunger strike during Cinco de Mayo that year by Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MEChA) students demanding her reinstatement. The hunger strike ultimately proved fruitful, prompting the University’s formation of a committee that eventually created the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. After Stanford, Cecilia Preciado Burciaga served as one of the founding administrators of California State University, Monterey Bay. She first worked in the Office of the President and later as the associate vice president of student affairs. In addition to many awards and honors, including the Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitarian Award and Top 100 Most Influential Latinas of the Century awarded by Latina Magazine, Ms. Burciaga has served on the White House Commission on The Education of Hispanic Americans during the Clinton Administration and on the National Advisory Committee on Women during the Carter Administration.