TAMIU Graduate Opportunities Expand with $3 Million Gift

TAMIU Graduate Opportunities Expand with
$3 Million Gift from Lamar Bruni Vergara Trust

Joe Martin and Judge Solomon Casseb
Trustees Joe Martin and Solomon Casseb

Graduate study scholarship opportunities at Texas A&M International University have dramatically increased with the announcement of a new $3 million gift from the Lamar Bruni Vergara Trust this week at TAMIU.

Vergara Trust trustees Solomon Casseb and Joe Martin presented the University with their generous gift in ceremonies Thursday, Sept. 11. This gift is in addition to a 2005 gift that created a $10 million endowment that also supports graduate student scholarships.

Trustees said their interest in providing additional support for graduate students is consistent with the Trust’s commitment to education here.

“We believe that providing more opportunities and scholarships to those seeking graduate degrees at TAMIU is further validation of our ongoing support of higher education. Our TAMIU graduates go on to lead lives of professional excellence and leadership giving that better our community and region in incalculable ways. We are delighted to be able to insure that more students will be able to pursue their graduate education here,” said Trustee Joe Martin.

Trustee Solomon Casseb Jr. concurred.

“We believe that the legacy of Lamar Bruni Vergara truly lives on in the lives of purpose and accomplishment that these TAMIU graduate students make real through their graduate education,” Casseb said.

TAMIU president Dr. Ray Keck said the Trust’s partnership with TAMIU is unprecedented.

“We are enormously appreciative for the visionary partnership that the Trust continues to provide. While our students are the primary beneficiaries, the true gain is to our city and region which every year receives a remarkable infusion of TAMIU graduates ready to give, ready to lead and ready to serve as catalysts of change,” Dr. Keck said.

The gift will support assistantships, fellowships and scholarships. An assistantship is a financial award to a graduate student for part-time work (20 hours per week) in teaching or research while pursuing an advanced degree and provides up to $9000 per year.

A fellowship is a financial award to a graduate student for part-time work (10 hours per week) in teaching or research while pursuing an advanced degree. Graduate Fellowship awards provide up to $6000 per year.

Scholarships pay tuition up to $3000 a year ($1000 per semester, including summer) for qualified graduate students.

To be eligible for assistance, students must be fully admitted graduate students working towards a master's or doctoral degree, enroll in six graduate hours each semester (or summer) while receiving LBV funding, and maintain an overall GPA of 3.5.

For additional information or to download an application, visit the Office of Graduate Studies at tamiu.edu/gradschool/lamar_bruni_vergara.

The Lamar Bruni Vergara Trust was established in 1989. The legacy of its namesake continues through the enhancement of the Catholic Church, educational and health institutions, and numerous local social services organizations.

As her health deteriorated in later years, Bruni Vergara sought to ensure that her care for her community would continue. The Laredo philanthropist’s vision and legacy of assisting higher education continues through the benevolent acts of the Lamar Bruni Vergara Trust. Her cousin, the late J. C. Martin, Jr. and friend Solomon Casseb Jr., formed a Trust to provide continuous support of the social, religious, health and educational initiatives of the community.

The Trust has provided gifts and support for the College of Nursing and Health Sciences and its programs, student scholarships, faculty research, the Lamar Bruni Vergara Memorial Garden and the Lamar Bruni Vergara Science Center and Planetarium.

For additional information on expanded graduate scholarship and assistance opportunities at TAMIU, contact Dr. Jeffrey Brown, dean of the Office of Graduate Studies and Research at 326.3020, e-mail graduateschool@tamiu.edu or visit offices in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library 336.

University office hours are 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 Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu