Lone Star National Bank establishes endowed scholarship at UTPA
Posted: 10/27/2005
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Students at The University of Texas-Pan American will benefit from a new endowed scholarship contribution of $50,000 by Lone Star National Bank, a premier independent community bank serving the Rio Grande Valley, established with the assistance of the development staff of the UTPA Division of External Affairs.

Representing Lone Star National Bank at the presentation ceremony Oct. 13, Paul R. Rodriguez, executive vice president and chief business development officer at Lone Star National Bank, said the Hilda Cantu Garza Endowed Scholarship will benefit students in the College of Education.

Hilda Cantu Garza is the late daughter of Elida Cantu and Guadalupe Cantu, the late founder of the prominent Rio Grande Valley contracting firm, Cantu Construction, Inc., now headed by Guadalupe's son and Hilda Cantu Garza's brother Alonzo Cantu. Alonzo Cantu also serves as chairman of the board of Lone Star National Bank. Hilda Cantu Garza was also the wife of Fidel Garza, who was among family members attending the ceremony.

Pictured at a recent check presentation for $50,000 from Lone Star National Bank to establish the Hilda Cantu Garza Endowed Scholarship in the UTPA College of Education are left to right Dr. Velma Menchaca, interim dean of the College of Education; Paul R. Rodriguez, executive vice president and chief business development officer at Lone Star National Bank; Fidel Garza, husband of the late Hilda Cantu Garza; and Lydia Aleman, director of Development Operations and Endowment Services, UTPA Division of External Affairs.
Rodriguez said that Lone Star National Bank, which now has branches from Roma to Brownsville, has supported many efforts in its 22 years of existence to enhance educational opportunities in the area, particularly in providing scholarships through its work with VAMOS (Valley Alliance of Mentors and Scholarships). He recalled Hilda Cantu Garza as working side-by-side with her brother Alonzo on VAMOS and other projects.

"We always knew how committed she was to education as evidenced by her earning both bachelor's and master's degrees in education here at Pan American. I remember Hilda particularly because she was very involved in the Scholarship Committee at VAMOS and so she was one of the people that always pushed the organization. She was a charter member of VAMOS. She would be very pleased in more ways than one to see her name associated with this endowment and certainly with UTPA," he said.

The endowment will begin awarding a $2,500 scholarship to an entering freshman or continuing freshman who is enrolled full time and has a 2.5-3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale. The student must be in the 11 to 25 percent of the class and be a working student. The scholarships will be available to students starting September 2006.

Rodriguez said they wanted to focus on students in the 11th to 25th percentile because they are often overlooked for recognition and assistance.

"We want to support students who may not be in that top 10 percent tier, many times because they are working or supporting their families or have had to give a few things up because of the situation they are in. Many times these students are overlooked but, in our opinion, are just as hardworking as and perhaps even more so than their counterparts. We wanted to make this (scholarship) one way of reaching that pool of talent and supporting those individuals," he said.

Lone Star National Bank, one of the few independently-owned banks in the Valley, is a full service financial institution with more than $1.3 billion in assets. It offers personal and business banking, financial and insurance services, mortgages and international services.

Accepting the contribution on behalf of the University was Lydia Aleman, director of Development Operations and Endowment Services, who expressed gratitude to Lone Star National Bank for their support of students.

"Lone Star National Bank's vision of awarding scholarships to students in the 11 to 25 percentile of their graduating class shows their strong commitment and belief that every student can succeed if provided access and the financial opportunity for higher education. We thank Lone Star National Bank for aligning with UTPA in making a difference," she said.

For more information, contact the Division of External Affairs at 956/361-3361.