Graciela Limón

Message from the President

April 8, 2024

Dear LMU Community:

I am saddened to share that Graciela Limón, professor emerita of Chicano/a Studies and a member of the Faculty Hall of Fame, passed away after a brief illness on April 3, 2024. She was 85.

Professor Limón joined the university in September 1965 in Modern Languages and Literatures. Under the leadership of Academic Vice President John Clark, S.J. and President Donald Merrifield, S.J., Professor Limón was an essential partner in the university’s efforts to diversify its students and faculty. She was named chair of Chicano/a Studies and was responsible for recruiting and retaining faculty in Chicano/a Studies and for African American Studies. Professor Limón’s significant contributions across disciplines included Modern Languages, Chicano/a Studies, Communication Studies, African American Studies, and Women and Gender Studies. She retired from LMU in 2001 but remained a valued presence on campus, including her final speaking engagement in the “Rhetoric of Women” class in fall 2023.

A prolific author with a rich body of work, Professor Limón has left an indelible mark on the world of contemporary literature. Her impressive list of novels includes “Dreamers” and “In Search of Bernabé,” a novel that, she told LMU Magazine, grew out of her service with Michael Kennedy, S.J., when she volunteered to assist Salvadoran refugees who had fled war and misery in search of safety and a better life. Her novels showcase her exceptional storytelling and dedication to exploring an array of cultural themes and backgrounds.

She was honored with the Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award, a Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award, and the Luis Leal Award for Distinction in Chicano/Latino Literature.

Professor Limón earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish literature from Marymount College, Los Angeles, a Master of Arts degree in the same field from the University of the Americas in Mexico City, and her Ph.D. in Latin American literature from UCLA.

Plans to celebrate Professor Limón’s life and career are pending and will be shared soon. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in Professor Limon’s honor be made to Undocumented Student Support Services or the Dr. Graciela Limón Annual Scholarship.

Please keep Graciela, her friends, her family, and her legions of students in your thoughts and prayers.


Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D.