LAFS was founded in 1990 by faculty and staff at CSUSM to help build community at the new university. Members and "Friends" of the group pay annual dues to help support activities, and hold events to generate funds and to encourage new members.
LAFS members and Friends have regularly supported Chicano-Latino Graduation ceremonies for the university's Spring commencement, including a reception honoring the first class of CSUSM graduates in 1992. In addition to establishing this continuing tradition, the association members raised funds to be listed as among the 100 donors on the University's Founder's Plaque and have served on the President's Hispanic Advisory Council since its inception.
LAFS members and friends "made history" through their dedicated work toward the installation of a larger-than-life bronze statue in honor of Cesar E. Chavez on the university plaza that also bears his name, which is located in the northeastern area of the campus. Many individual students, faculty, staff, community members, members of the Hispanic Advisory council, and former President Bill Stacey, contributed to the effort. The public helped the university celebrate the installation with a ceremony in March 1997.
Beginning in spring 2002, CSUSM students have organized a "Cesar Chavez Day at CSUSM" at the site of the statue to commemorate his life and work and communicate it to a new class of university students. Former President Alexander Gonzalez contributed financially to the student event and gave a keynote address.
The LAFS Scholarship for CSUSM Students, first awarded in 1996, continues to be a central activity of the group. Members make individual donations to the fund, and help raise funds from outside sources. Proceed from our Annual On-Line Auction go directly toward the scholarship.
In 2002 LAFS made a one-time contribution of $22,000 to BECA to endow a LAFS Scholarship for CSUSM Students. BECA, a non-profit scholarship organization based in North County, administers this scholarship. Meanwhile, LAFS continues to sponsor fund-raising efforts to build another scholarship fund for CSUSM students through the CSUSM Foundation.