Junípero Serra – and the impact of the missions he founded – is the subject of a symposium to be held at CSU Monterey Bay on Nov. 19.

Pillars at Mission San MiguelThe symposium, “Junípero Serra, Native Californians and the Legacy of the Franciscan Missions” coincides with the 300th anniversary of Serra’s birth. Spain, Mexico and the state of California are commemorating the tricentennial with a variety of events.

Born on the island of Majorca, Spain, Father Serra founded the Franciscan mission system of Alta California. While Father Serra is credited with founding the first nine missions in the chain, 21 missions were established from 1769 to 1823.

The advance of European colonialism ultimately disrupted Native American cultures and societies throughout the Americas, and Father Serra’s role in California has come into question. Today, descendants of those indigenous communities most affected by Euro-American settlements share conflicting perspectives on the legacy of Father Serra’s missionary efforts in early California.

Dr. Rose Marie Beebe and Dr. Robert Senkewicz, both professors at Santa Clara University, will make presentations at the symposium. Guest panelists will include Ann Marie Sayers of Indian Canyon; Kathryn England-Aytes, a psychology lecturer at CSUMB; and Father Carl Faria of the Diocese of Monterey.

The symposium will be held from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in the University Center living room. The building is located on Sixth Avenue at B Street. Driving directions and a campus map

While the event is free, a parking permit must be purchased from a dispenser on the lot or online.

Dr. Ruben MendozaAn exhibit of mission photography by Dr. Ruben Mendoza, an archaeologist and leading expert on California missions, will open in the Student Center West Lounge at 5 p.m., Nov. 14, in conjunction with the symposium.

Attendees are asked to RSVP for both events by contacting Heather Wilde at hwilde@csumb.edu or calling 582-3890.

The university collaborated with the National Steinbeck Center on a photo exhibit that will be on display at the Steinbeck Center from Nov. 8 through January, featuring photos by Dr. Mendoza, Larry Angier and Martin Vargas-Garcia.

The events are sponsored by the Division of Social, Behavioral and Global Studies, World Languages and Cultures, the Provost's Special Events fund, Student Activities and Leadership Development, and the National Steinbeck Center.

Top photo: Pillar at the altar of Mission San Miguel. Photo by Dr. Ruben Mendoza
Bottom photo: CSUMB archaeology professor Ruben Mendoza