Naming Opportunities Leave Living Legacy for TAMIU Students, Campus

Naming Opportunities Leave Living Legacy for TAMIU Students, Campus

There is indeed a way to live on past one's earthly days. Some Laredoans are choosing to do so by providing named gifts to Texas A&M International University to fund building construction, academic programs or endowed scholarships at the University.

"I suppose we all wonder what our legacy will be. For some, the opportunity to leave a legacy to their local University is the legacy that has the most significance," explained Candy Hein, the University's vice president for institutional advancement who directs the University's fund-raising efforts.

Since 1994, the University has received approximately $30 million in gifts. The majority, about 60 percent, is for institutional support while 24% provides scholarships and 12% helps academic support and research.

"It certainly does make a tremendous difference to our students," Hein confirmed. "For instance, with over 80% of students receiving assistance to complete their studies donors who have opted to provide for an endowed scholarship have made a crucial difference. These gifts generate student scholarships every year from the interest the account generates," she explained.

To date, the University has over 53 endowed scholarships that are currently active, providing some 20 students per year with scholarships that have been named to honor a relative, a business or philanthropic group.

Other naming opportunities include providing funds that can support construction or initiate or maintain University programming.

"We've been very blessed with donor support that has helped to provide funding for construction of our campus and some of its facilities. In addition, we've had special programming initiatives like distinguished professorships, chairs, lecture series, honors programs and music festivals that have been made possible by the gifts of thoughtful donors," Hein explained.

Naming opportunities can range from $25,000 for endowed scholarships to a percentage cost of a new building, she indicated, and can often be tailored to the donor's wishes.

Among existing campus buildings that have been assisted by naming opportunities are the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, Anthony J. and Georgia A. Pellegrino Hall, the Dr. F. M. Canseco Hall, the Lamar Bruni Vergara Science Center (now under construction) and the Vergara Memorial Garden.

"We're committed to working with donors to make sure that their wishes are followed and that the gift they intend for the University, its students and its program, is the gift that is realized," Hein said.

Hein said the process for giving to the University often begins with a simple phone call to the Institutional Advancement Office, followed by a meeting to explore options and ramifications, and when appropriate, a signed agreement which outlines the gift, its plan of delivery, its rights, responsibilities and restrictions.

"There are a number of implications for such gifts, so we work closely with Texas A&M University System legal advisors as well as those of the donor, to assure that all is done according to applicable laws," she said.

"We pride ourselves on helping to make the donor's gift reach those who will most benefit from it and to realizing the vision that has gone into its provision," she concluded.

For additional information, please call the Office for Institutional Advancement at 326.2175, visit offices located in Killam Library 262 or e-mail chein@tamiu.edu

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