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Donors Thanked for Leaving a Legacy

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – JULY 23, 2013Lita Ortiz of Brownsville learned the lesson of giving to others from her mother.

“I give to the university because education is so important to everyone,” Ortiz said. “It enriches someone personally; it enriches them professionally, and more than anything, it enriches them so they can make their community a better place for all.”

Ortiz is a member of the Legacy Society at The University of Texas at Brownsville.

Dr.García talks with Diane and Rick Teter of Laguna Vista. Dr. García with Diane and Rick Teter of Laguna Vista.

Created in 2012, the Legacy Society is an honorary designation given to friends of UTB who have pledged planned gifts to the university.

Nine donors met for a luncheon hosted by Dr. Juliet V. García, UTB President, on Monday, July 22.

Donors who attended the luncheon included Bettie Lane Bragg, Rudy de la Garza, Lita Ortiz, Rick and Gloria Ridolfi, Rick and Diane Teter, and Dr. Sue Zanne and Richard Urbis.

“You are a special group to the university,” García said. “We are grateful that you are planning ahead and thinking long-term about ways that you can help our students. Our students are the future of our community, our region and our nation.”


“We all had a lovely time with Dr. García, and it was thrilling to learn more about the evolution of UTB that is taking place,” said Bettie Lane Barnhill Bragg, who bequeathed her Port Isabel home and furnishings in 2006 as a “life estate” to UTB. The Oscar Roe Bragg Jr. and Bettie Lane Barnhill Bragg Scholarships will go to liberal arts students from the Port Isabel area.

Dr. García is joined by Gloria and Rick Ridolfi of Laguna Vista. Dr. García is joined by Gloria and Rick Ridolfi of Laguna Vista.

Planned giving is common at most universities, according to Serena Putegnat, University Relations Officer.

Putegnat said planned giving includes a number of methods that can have significant tax benefits. Along with simple bequests, life estates, charitable gift annuities and charitable remainder trusts can be useful vehicles for making significant donations to the university.

Donors also may choose to make the university the beneficiary of life insurance policies.

“One major benefit of planned giving is that the university has an opportunity to acknowledge the donors and thank them during their lifetime,” she said.

Bragg said her gift gives her peace of mind. She said it makes her feel good to know that her property will go to appreciative new owners – while also providing scholarships for deserving students.

“I’m just saving my estate time and money,” Bragg said. “It’s all taken care of. I know where everything is going, and it makes me feel good. I’d much rather give it for scholarships than give it to the executor.”

For more information on planned giving, contact Serena Putegnat at 956-882-4326 or



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