MOSAIC Cross Cultural Center was established as a result of a racial incident that occurred on campus between an African American Student and a White administrator sometime in the mid-1990’s. The student tried to enter a building near closing time when the administrator decided they would not let the student in. Some words were exchanged, including the "N-word" that was used by the administrator.

Concerned students, staff, and faculty on campus came together and created a list of demands for the President, including the idea of creating an African American House. Assuming that other communities would demand their own center, the University President decided to induct a Multicultural Center. A Task Force was formed in order to assist in the strategic planning and vision of the center.

The center was first established in 1998, and the Division of Student Affairs provided funding and management. The name “MOSAIC” received its name from a student named Mariela Garcia, who won a naming contest for the center in 1998. MOSAIC stood for: “Multicultural Opportunities and Student Awareness in different Cultures.” 

Over time, the acronym “MOSAIC” stood alone to be defined as it is in standard dictionaries. During Summer 2002, MOSAIC went through another name change, becoming the MOSAIC Cross Cultural Center.