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Endowment Donors meet with Grateful Students  
 
BROWNSVILLE, TEXASSEPT. 3, 2012El Gran Salón at the Student Union of The University of Texas at Brownsville was the venue for the Endowed Scholarship Luncheon on Friday, Aug. 30.
Five of the ten students receiving the Neal and Lourdes Simmons Endowed Scholarship joined Lourdes Simmons, Albino Carrasco and Lourdes Simmons Carrasco at the luncheon.
Five of the ten students receiving the Neal and Lourdes Simmons Endowed Scholarship joined Lourdes Simmons, Albino Carrasco and Lourdes Simmons Carrasco at the luncheon.
 
The event has become an annual tradition that gives students and donors an opportunity to meet and share their stories.
 
“There is so much need in our community that we must use every moment we have to strengthen our programs, enhance our teaching, grow our research and expand opportunities for students,” said Dr. Juliet V. García, UTB President, to the 250 donors and students in attendance.
 
Ralph Vela, representing his family that recently established the Blanca and Filemon Vela Endowed Scholarship, spoke of the importance of public/private collaboration.
 
“We have a role to play—to embrace and believe in education,” Vela said, citing his parents as examples of selfless giving.
 
García said 110 endowed scholarships have been established at UTB in the past 20 years. Last year, $450,000 in endowed scholarships went to 521 students.
 
One of those students is Julio Cesar Ramos, a senior biology major and Premed Scholar with the Office of Health Professions Careers.
 
“In the heart of Brownsville, UTB nurtures the potential of its students, but UTB can only offer these opportunities because of the generous individuals who believe in the necessity of education,” Ramos said.
 
Julio Cesar Ramos, a biomedical major, plans to attendmedical school at The University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston.Julio Cesar Ramos, a biomedical major, plans to attendmedical school at The University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston.
Ramos recently returned from a summer research internship at Tufts University in Medford, Mass. and said he is looking forward to returning to being a student research assistant for Dr. Emilio Garrido, Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedicine. After graduation from UTB, he plans on attending the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Medical School.
 
“It is because of you, the generous donors, that students are able to find the means to attain an education,” Ramos said. “An education requires sacrifice, but it is all worth it. So thank you for believing in me; thank you for believing in these students; and thank you for believing in The University of Texas at Brownsville.”
 
Ian Gonzalez, the recipient of the Arturo X. and Florestela L. Benavides Scholarship Endowment, said he enjoyed having lunch with the donors of his scholarship and their son, Dr. Jude Benavides, Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Environmental Sciences, and daughter-in-law, Ann Benavides. 
 
“Receiving scholarships has greatly assisted me in paying for my tuition at UTB,” said Gonzalez, a biomedical science major who plans to attend dental school after completing his bachelor’s degree. “Rather than devoting my time and energy towards a job to help pay for tuition, scholarships let me dedicate myself towards studying, shadowing, and researching. I am very grateful to Mr. andMrs. Benavides for their generosity.”
 
Four board members representing the Lower Rio Grande Valley Nursing Scholarship Fund – Patty Flores, Susan Klein, Carrie Walker and Joe Lacher – joined 15 nursing students who received nursing scholarships over the past two semesters.
 
“My scholarship helped in many ways, especially for purchasing books; medical books are always being updated, and we have to buy new books every year,” said Rebecca Cardenas, who will be graduating with the Associate of Science in Nursing in December, and then continuing with the R.N.-to-B.S.N. [Bachelor of Science in Nursing]. “It was wonderful to enjoy lunch with the generous donors to this scholarship. They are helping so many nursing students.”
 
Arturo X. and Florestela L. Benavides enjoyed the luncheon with their scholarship recipient, Ian Gonzalez, and their son Dr. Jude Benavides and daughter-in-law, Ann Benavides.Arturo X. and Florestela L. Benavides enjoyed the luncheon with their scholarship recipient, Ian Gonzalez, and their son Dr. Jude Benavides and daughter-in-law, Ann Benavides.
García told the donors that every dollar they contribute to their endowments will not only benefit the students today at UT Brownsville, but will help ensure financial assistance for students at the new university created from UTB and The University of Texas Pan American. Those students will be attending what is to be the second largest Hispanic serving institution in the nation and will include a medical school.
 
“We are very grateful to our donors who reach out to our students to help them attain the goal of a college degree,” García said. “Because we know that none of us has done this work alone. At the same time we were building a university and establishing new programs, we have had the help of many generous community members who have worked to ensure students are financially able to reach for their dreams.”
 
To learn more about endowments and giving to UTB, contact Laurie Howell, Executive Director of University Relations, at 956-882-4334 or laurie.howell@utb.edu.
 

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