UTPA receives nearly $400,000 in endowment funds
Posted: 06/25/2008
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The foresight and generosity of a former, long-time Mercedes, Texas resident - Barbara Jane Dudley - has resulted in an endowment gift of close to $400,000 that was recently received by The University of Texas-Pan American Foundation.

"Mrs. Barbara Dudley's gift to the University is one of deep love and thoughtful planning," said R. David Guerra, president and CEO of International Bank of Commerce in McAllen and UTPA Foundation Board chair. "At UTPA, planned giving by our benefactors has become an essential funding source to providing student assistance and scholarships."

UTPA benefactor Barbara Jane Dudley is pictured in an undated, pre-1968 vacation photo with her husband Jay.
Barbara, who died in 1993, first came to the Valley in her early 20s as the young bride of South Texas farmer Jay Dudley, owner of the Mercedes-based Dudley Farms, which produced cotton and other Valley crops. After the unfortunate death of her husband in a 1968 automobile accident, Barbara's sister and best friend, Katherine "Kit" Le Croix Daum and Katherine's husband Richard moved to the Valley, so that the two sisters could live closer to each other.

Over the years, Barbara's love of the Valley grew as did her interest in supporting higher education in South Texas and she began making gifts to the University.

In the mid-1980s Barbara learned through the UTPA Foundation about planned giving opportunities and how, working with her attorney and accountant, she could coordinate her tax planning and estate with her charitable goals. The charitable remainder trusts she established at that time were designed to not only provide for her but also for her sister "Kit" and her brother-in-law during their lifetimes. They also gave her the opportunity to leave any remaining trust assets to UTPA as a long lasting legacy for the University community - its students, teachers, researchers and graduates.

Her good friend Anita June Long Smith, now 85 and who was Barbara's neighbor at the Alamo Country Club, where Barbara lived the final years of her life, described her petite friend with the "beautiful blond hair and skin" as "one nice gal." She said they enjoyed having their hair done together every Friday and going to McAllen's Jones & Jones Department Store tearoom to eat, then shop.

"She was fun and vivacious but a quiet, soft spoken and very unassuming woman. I remember she loved animals, especially her bulldog and she talked about providing money to the Humane Society. I think the commitment she made to UTPA is wonderful," Smith said.

Guerra said that in her estate planning, Barbara made sure that upon her own death that her beloved sister Katherine and brother-in-law would be financially secure.Upon Kit's death in December 2007, the charitable trust went through a closing process that led to Barbara's final planned gift received by the UTPA Foundation this spring.

"For many individuals estate planning is a wonderful way to take stock of one's accomplishments and to determine how the fruits of one's labor are to be disbursed. Professional estate planning provides the vehicle to accomplish this and at the same time provide methods to reduce estate taxes and identify organizations that are important to the individual," Guerra said.

According to Lydia Aleman, executive director of University Advancement at UTPA, the University administration has already designated $50,000 to support the UTPA Premedical Honors Program with the Baylor College of Medicine. The remainder of her gift will go to the Barbara Jane Dudley Endowment, which Barbara established years ago in support of the University.

"The UTPA Foundation is very grateful to have received this significant gift from Mrs. Barbara Dudley. The gift will be used to advance the fundraising efforts of the Foundation in securing more student scholarships, program funding, and be used for the betterment of UTPA," she said.

If you would like to learn more about how to support advancement at UTPA, contact the Office of Development, Division of University Advancement at 956/318-5301 or via e-mail at You can also visit the Web site at