Ramirez Provides $1 Million Scholarship Gift to TAMIU

Ramirez Provides $1 Million Scholarship Gift to TAMIU

Zapata banker and philanthropist Renato Ramirez presents a $1 million scholarship gift to Texas A&M International University representatives Candy Hein, vice president for institutional advancement, and Dr. Ray Keck, president.

Zapata banker and philanthropist Renato Ramirez has provided Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) with a generous gift of $1 million in support of scholarships for students attending TAMIU.

Dr. Ray Keck, TAMIU president, said the gift was astounding in its generosity and will have an impact for years to come.

"This is truly an astounding act of  generosity and one that will impact our students' lives for generations to come.  Mr. Ramirez' philanthropy is legendary in South Texas and beyond and we are much blessed by his including this University in his giving," Dr. Keck said.

Ramirez said his gift acknowledges his own pride as a graduate of Texas A&M University and desire to help TAMIU, part of The Texas A&M University System.

"I graduated from A&M in 1961 in Mechanical Engineering and the academic and life lessons I learned there have helped form my career and life.  Aggies are remarkably giving and, as an Aggie, I wanted to help new generations of students whose lives will be bettered by attending TAMIU," Ramirez said.

The gift will establish the Renato and Patricia Ramirez Scholars, recognizing Ramirez and his wife of 40 years, Patricia. 

In order to qualify for the scholarship, students must be undergraduates or graduates; maintain a 2.75 or better grade point average and carry 12 hours of credit courses at TAMIU.   Graduates of Zapata High School will be given preference for scholarships when need, merit and academic standing are equal.

Ramirez, a Zapata native, went on to earn an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin and completed coursework on a Ph.D. in finance and economics at the University of Tennessee.  He also served as a first lieutenant in the US Army Artillery, and an instructor on missile guidance systems and company commander for Cuban refugees.

Ramirez' interest in higher education and student needs was strengthened by his service as an educator.

He has  served as an instructor or professor of finance at the University of Tennessee, Louisiana State University, the Escuela Bancaria Superior de Centro-America,  and the former Laredo State University.  Through the years, he has continued to serve as an adjunct faculty member at TAMIU, teaching banking and finance.

He first entered the banking industry in 1978 as a senior vice president at Laredo National Bank and joined International Bank of Commerce in 1983 as president of IBC-Zapata, a position he continues to hold.  IBC-Zapata is the fastest growing bank in south Texas, growing to $250 million in assets since opening in 1984.

In addition to banking, he has served as chairman of the Zapata County Appraisal District; vice chairman of the South Texas private Industry Council; president of Los Ebanos Golf Club; president of the Zapata County Independent School District's Board of Trustees; president of the Boys/Girls Club of Zapata and former president, board member or chairman of several standing committees of the Zapata County Fair Association.

His philanthropic activities have included funding physical facilities and food for the 25 children of Casa Hogar a la Nueva Esperanza in Ciudad Mier, Tamaulipas, Mexico; donating 70 acres for the construction of Zapata County's Municipal Airport; establishing a scholarship program for Zapata High School students since 1966; supporting the Capitol Tejano Monument effort; making the largest single donation to the National Hispanic Institute dedicated to advancing educational opportunities for Hispanic youngsters, and the Foundation for the Advancement of Micrometeorological Soaring, a flex wing, fixed wing, sail plane and parachute gliding organization.

He is also owner and manager of R&P Ramirez, Ltd., a ranching and farming operation.

For additional information on the Renato and Patricia Ramirez Scholars Scholarship, please contact the TAMIU Office of Institutional Advancement at 326.2175.

University office hours are from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu