Their Story: Rick and Gloria Ridolfi
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After 25 years in the Air Force, Rick and Gloria Ridolfi returned to Gloria's roots in the Rio Grande Valley where she recalls her father steering ships loaded with bananas into the Port of Brownsville. The Ridolfis appreciate every new day, and it is this grateful attitude that infuses their active life that includes being staunch supporters of The University of Texas at Brownsville, where Gloria has been a member of the Development Board for the past three years.
Rick and Gloria promote UTB in numerous ways, including their participation in the annual Distinguished Lecturer Series, The Arts Center and the Annual Fund: UTB Fund for Excellence. They also were the driving force behind the establishment of the SPI Faculty Lecture Series, a popular program on South Padre Island since 2005.
Several years ago, the Ridolfis learned from Laurie Howell, Executive Director for University Relations, about children who grow up as wards of the state of Texas and often find themselves in limbo when they are "emancipated" at the age of 18, out on their own with no financial or emotional support.
Rick and Gloria established an endowed scholarship earmarked especially for students leaving state care who might be vulnerable without family support.
"We felt these kids would benefit from just a little help toward their educations,"
A few years later, when rewriting their wills in Texas, Rick and Gloria decided to add to the endowment upon their deaths with a planned gift. After making the change with their lawyer, they worked with Serena Putegnat in University Relations to facilitate the simple paperwork saying a set amount would be added to their scholarship endowment upon their deaths.
"We think it's very important to take care of plans early because you never know what and when something will happen," Gloria said. "And this way it's done, and we know it is taken care of, and that’s very comforting."
And they hope their actions will serve as a role model for the recipients.
"It should't stop with that person," Rick said. "I hope this becomes contagious for the kids that receive the modest benefit that we can offer. That they say to their children, 'I did it, I want you to do it.'"
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