Austin philanthropists set up scholarship fund
Posted: 12/17/2002
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Austin Philanthropists Joe R. and Dr. Teresa L. Long presented a $25,000 check to The University of Texas-Pan American on Friday, Dec. 13 for student scholarships.

Austin Philanthropists donate to UTPA. Pictured above from left to right UTPA President Dr. Miguel A. Nevarez; Joe and Teresa L. Long, philanthropists.

The UTPA Foundation has pledged to match the funds in the Long Endowment Scholarship for a total amount of $50,000.

"This University is doing some fabulous things," Long said. "We wanted to help."

The Longs are well known for wanting to help. They have made generous donations of both time and money to countless organizations with a particular emphasis on giving to the arts.

Most recently the Longs pledged $20 million to the ARTS Center Stage to help transform Austin's Palmer Auditorium into a center for the performing arts.

The Longs credit hard work for their success. Long was the first Hispanic woman to receive a Doctor of Education from the University of Texas at Austin. Her husband practiced banking law and eventually bought interest in First State Bank and Community National Bank in Austin.

By the 1990s, he had acquired and was in charge of eight banks amassing a multi-million dollar empire.

Long was the keynote speaker for the College of Education during the University's commencement exercises Saturday, Dec. 14.

She challenged the class of 2002 to make a difference in the world pointing to Jaime Escalante as the example to emulate. The math teacher's life story of success and triumph at the impoverished Garfield High School in Los Angeles was featured in the movie 'Stand and Deliver.'

"When Jaime Escalante came to this country, he didn't even know English... Mr. Escalante persevered and he taught his students respect, honor and self esteem," Long said.

When it comes to generosity, the Longs say they hope to serve as an inspiration.

"Through our gift, Terry and I hope to encourage others to give," said Joe Long.