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Southwest Airlines And The Hispanic Association Of Colleges And Universities Recognized By The White House Initiative On Educational Excellence For Hispanics

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Southwest Airlines and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities announce 2015 college student recipients of annual travel award

Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities' (HACU) are proud to join the nearly 150 public and private sector organizations who answered the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics' 25th anniversary call to action.  Southwest Airlines and HACU made a commitment to not only continue the ¡Lánzate!/Take Off! travel award, but to increase the positive difference it makes in the lives of students throughout the country.

"Southwest Airlines and HACU teamed up 11 years ago to find a solution to the number one barrier keeping Latino students from graduating from college—the inability to stay connected with family while away at school," said Christine Ortega, Southwest's Manager of Community Affairs & Grassroots.   "Through the ¡Lánzate!/Take Off! travel award, Southwest Airlines is able to connect deserving students with what's important in their lives by providing complimentary airfare to travel home and see their families while they're away from home pursuing higher education.  Through this invaluable program, Southwest and HACU have provided travel to more than 800 students and we look forward to continuing this proud tradition in the future."

"By offering a program that supports student's higher education goals and travel awards to families who might not otherwise have the opportunity to visit with their college-bound student, Southwest Airlines is making a great contribution to Hispanic success in higher education," said HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores. "The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities congratulates the student recipients and Southwest Airlines for giving flight to higher education success."

In 2015, Southwest Airlines and HACU awarded 101 students with complimentary roundtrip airfare as part of the ¡Lánzate!/Take Off! travel award.  This year, more than 600 students, from freshmen through graduate students, submitted essays displaying their need and desire for travel on Southwest Airlines.  In the application essays, students wrote about their personal experiences and the importance of staying connected with their families while pursuing higher education away from home.  A panel of judges made up of college professors and educational advocates met to determine the award recipients. Recipients were awarded between one and four roundtrip tickets for travel for themselves or a family member.  Southwest awarded 192 tickets this year to encourage students to continue pursuing their dreams in higher education.  To see the full list of winning students, please visit:

Southwest is dedicated to serving the Hispanic community, and the ¡Lánzate!/Take Off! travel award is one of the many ways the airline gives back.  To learn more about Southwest Airlines' efforts in the Hispanic community, please visit


The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) represents approximately 450 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Latin America and Spain. HACU is the only national association representing existing and emerging Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). Information is available at


In its 45th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 47,000 Employees to more than 100 million Customers annually.  Southwest operates more than 3,600 flights a day, serving 95 destinations across the United States and six additional countries.  Southwest service to Belize City, Belize, is scheduled to begin Oct. 15, 2015.  Subject to foreign government approval, service to Liberia, Costa Rica, is scheduled to begin Nov. 1, 2015.

Based on the U.S. Department of Transportation's most recent data, Southwest Airlines is the nation's largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded. The Company operates the largest fleet of Boeing aircraft in the world, the majority of which are equipped with satellite-based WiFi providing gate-to-gate connectivity while over the United States.  That connectivity enables Customers to use their personal devices to access streaming music provided by Apple Music or to view video on-demand movies and television shows, as well as nearly 20 channels of free, live TV compliments of our valued Partners. Southwest created Transfarency, a philosophy which treats Customers honestly and fairly, and in which low fares actually stay low. Southwest is the only major U.S. airline to offer bags fly free®  to everyone (first and second checked pieces of luggage, size and weight limits apply, some airlines may allow free checked bags on select routes or for qualified circumstances), and there are no change fees, though fare differences might apply. In 2014, the airline proudly unveiled a bold new look:  Heart.  The new aircraft livery, airport experience, and logo, showcase the dedication of Southwest Employees to connect Customers with what's important in their lives.

From its first flights on June 18, 1971, Southwest Airlines launched an era of unprecedented affordability in air travel described by the U.S. Department of Transportation as "The Southwest Effect," a lowering of fares and increase in passenger traffic whenever the carrier enters new markets.  With 42 consecutive years of profitability, Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for a triple bottom line approach that contributes to the carrier's performance and productivity, the importance of its People and the communities they serve, and an overall commitment to efficiency and the planet. The 2014 Southwest Airlines One Report™ can be found at

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