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UTEP Announces $1.7 Million Gift From Hector And Gloria López Foundation To Benefit 15 López Scholars

Last Updated on July 05, 2022 at 12:00 AM

Originally published July 05, 2022

By MC Staff

UTEP Marketing and Communications

New Texas Foundation Promotes First Generation Latino Access to Higher Education

UTEP students celebrate the announcement of a $1.7 million grant by the Hector and Gloria López Foundation.
UTEP students celebrate the announcement of a $1.7 million grant by the Hector and Gloria López Foundation that will provide 15 Hispanic, first-generation college students with full scholarships to UTEP. Pictured in the back center are, from left, Lopez Foundation President and CEO Sergio Rodríguez, UTEP President Heather Wilson, and UT System Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Archie Holmes. Photo: Laura Trejo/UTEP Marketing and Communications

EL PASO, Texas (July 5, 2022) – Today, the Hector and Gloria López Foundation announced its first grant — a $1.7 million gift to benefit 15 UTEP students who will be known as López Scholars. The gift will be administered by The University of Texas Foundation.

Beginning in fall 2022, López Scholars will receive support for tuition and fees, as well as other services including mentoring, tutoring, paid internships, leadership development and more, for up to five years. The goal of the program is to enable students to focus on their studies and not be distracted by common barriers. 

"UTEP stands out as an education leader in Texas,” said Sergio Rodríguez, nephew of Hector and Gloria López, and president and CEO of the foundation that bears their name. “We selected UTEP because of its track record as a leading research university serving Latino students.”

Thirty-seven percent of UTEP’s faculty are Hispanic, the highest percentage among Carnegie ‘R1’ very high research universities. The student population is 84% Hispanic.

The University is also a founding member of the Alliance of Hispanic Serving Research Universities and has received the Seal of Excelencia, a designation which recognizes U.S. higher education institutions that intentionally serve Hispanic students and demonstrate positive student outcomes.

“With its focus on Hispanic student success, the Hector and Gloria López Foundation is well aligned with UTEP’s mission to expand educational opportunities to underserved students,” said UTEP President Heather Wilson. “We are thankful to the López Foundation for partnering with us to change students’ lives. As America’s leading Hispanic-serving university, UTEP is especially honored to be the first recipient of a López Foundation grant.”

“It’s so important that young Latinos see themselves at institutions of higher education and find a network of support that gets them across the finish line with a degree that will boost their economic opportunities,” said Rodríguez. “We are committed to colleges and universities with high numbers of Latino students and faculty, with proven success in building networks that help students succeed while they are in school and after they graduate.”  

To become a López Scholar, applicants must be Hispanic, demonstrate financial need, be the first in their family to attend college and live in or have graduated from a high school in one of the five focus areas – El Paso, Austin, San Antonio, and communities in South Texas and the Rio Grande Valley. From the pool of candidates who meet this criteria, 15 López Scholars at UTEP will be selected prior to the fall 2022 semester without the need for an additional application, a minimum GPA or an SAT/ACT score.

“The fact that they are admitted is enough for us,” Rodriguez said. “We don’t need to put up another barrier in order to provide support.” 

Hector and Gloria López, now deceased, left their accumulated land and financial assets to the foundation in 2021 with a mission to support post-secondary education for Latino students who are the first in their families to graduate from college or university and have demonstrated financial need.  Their legacy stems from their business efforts and community involvement in Alice, Texas, where they led the GALO Cattle Company. Hector focused on the law and Gloria focused on the finances. Their partnership spanned over 60 years together. 

“I’m sure that Hector and Gloria Lopez would have been proud knowing that the first ever foundation gift representing their life’s work will be directed to UT El Paso, one of our nation’s leading Hispanic-serving institutions,” said J.B. Milliken, Chancellor of The University of Texas System. “Along with the entire UTEP community, the UT System expresses profound gratitude to the Lopez Foundation for developing strong strategies to provide an array of educational and enriching experiences to first generation Hispanic college students.”

About The University of Texas at El Paso

The University of Texas at El Paso is America’s leading Hispanic-serving university. Located at the westernmost tip of Texas, where three states and two countries converge along the Rio Grande, 84% of our more than 24,000 students are Hispanic, and half are the first in their families to go to college. UTEP offers 168 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs at the only open-access, top-tier research university in America.

About the Hector and Gloria Lopez Foundation

The Hector and Gloria López Foundation provides post-secondary educational opportunities for Latino students in Texas, specifically students from El Paso, Austin, San Antonio, South Texas, and the Rio Grande Valley. Funded in 2021, the Foundation aims to reduce the financial and systemic barriers that students face on their journey to obtain a college or university degree. The Foundation also focuses on increasing Latino representation in faculty and administration as well as in philanthropy. For more information, visit