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The Center for Latin American and Iberian Studies (formerly known as Center for Hispanic Studies) originated in 1999 as a project designed in the Department of Foreign Languages at Kennesaw State University and the support of the Office of International Education of the Georgia Board of Regents. In 2000 the Ministry of Education of Spain offered to sponsor a language and culture resource center at KSU.
The relationship between both institutions was formalized in November 2001 with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for the dissemination of the Spanish language and Hispanic culture in the United States. The collaboration of KSU Department of Foreign Languages, the Georgia Board of Regents, and the Ministry of Education of Spain culminated in the opening of the Center in May 2001. Although initially housed in the Department of Foreign Languages, since 2003, the Center has been an independent entity within the Institute of Global Initiatives.
The Center for Latin American and Iberian Studies continues serving the Georgia community by hosting one of the twelve resource centers established in the United States under the auspices of the Ministry of Education of Spain.