EDINBURG – The University of Texas-Pan American accepted a $30,000 contribution Monday from Duke Energy Foundation to benefit service centers housed at the University Annex.
The donation generated an additional $20,000 from Norwest Bank and, together with another $400,000 in private commitments from several foundations, will help the University acquire the former Wal-Mart building in Edinburg. "Duke Energy is glad to play a part in helping UTPA in their fund-raising efforts," said J.B. McKinney, Duke Energy project director. "I hope our partnership with UTPA will continue to mature and grow."
The Duke Energy and Norwest Bank contributions, coupled with other pledges of support, will generate $450,000 towards the $1 million purchase price of the building. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. lowered its original selling price of $1.5 million to $1 million after discussions with Dr. Miguel A. Nevárez, UTPA president.
"Duke Energy’s civic responsibilities are very high. This is a company that is going to invest in the community," Nevárez said. "We’re very grateful for this gift to the University, and we hope to reciprocate by offering our services to Duke Energy. It’s a great two-way street."
The acquisition and remodeling of the facility will make it possible for the University to continue to house a number of vital public service programs, including the Southwest Border Nonprofit Resource Center, the Minority Business Opportunity Center, the Women’s Empowerment Business Center, the Small Business Development Center, the One Stop Capital Shop and other academic and community education programs.
“Duke Energy has become a good friend of the University, and plans are underway at the University to host their national corporate board meeting on the campus in March,” said Roland S. Arriola, vice president for External Affairs. “Wal-Mart has been a good partner over the years – having donated more than $1 million in scholarships and gifts-in-kind to the University.”
Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., serves customers and creates shareholder value through an integrated network of energy assets and energy experts. Its businesses manage a multi-national portfolio of energy supply, delivery and trading assets valued at approximately $30 billion.
“Since the work we do in these community service centers depends on the funding we get from outside sources, this donation is very important,” said Irene Sanchez-Casas, UTPA Corporate and Foundation Support director.