Beaumont Foundation Establishes $100,000 Scholarship Endowment at TAMIU
Posted: 4/19/12

Beaumont Foundation Establishes TAMIU Scholarship
Endowment Honoring Carlos and Judith Zaffirini

LAREDO - The Beaumont Foundation of America has announced the establishment of a scholarship endowment at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) that honors Carlos and Judith Zaffirini and is dedicated to providing scholarship assistance to first-generation TAMIU students.

The announcement was made Tuesday, 19 April, 2012 at TAMIU’s Helen Richter Watson Gallery in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library. 

W. Frank Newton, president and chief executive officer of the Beaumont Foundation of America, presented the Scholarship Endowment.

“It is our privilege to present this Scholarship Endowment honoring Carlos and Judith Zaffirini.  It is our hope that it will enrich and enhance the futures of many Texas A&M International University students who are the first in their family to secure their futures through higher education,” Newton said.

W. Frank Newton, Ray Keck, Judith Zaffirini
From left to right: W. Frank Newton, president and chief executive officer of the Beaumont Foundation of America; Dr. Ray Keck, TAMIU president; Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo.

Dr. Ray Keck, TAMIU president, said the generous gift and the couple it honors has very special meaning to the University.

“Judith Zaffirini and her husband Carlos have been life-long crusaders and champions of higher education here and throughout our State.  Their personal narratives are buoyed by the transformative power of higher education. The examples of their lives have long inspired our students and, through this remarkable endowed scholarship, will continue you to do so for years to come,” Dr. Keck said.

Highlighting the announcement of the Endowed Scholarship was the introduction of the first TAMIU student to be assisted by the Carlos and Judy Zaffirini Endowed Scholarship, Rafael E. Contreras III.

From left to right: W. Frank Newton; Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo; Rafael E. Contreras III, Scholarship recipient; Dr. Ray Keck.

Contreras is an English major at TAMIU.  A member of Leadership TAMIU, he is an orientation leader, student ambassador, student success mentor and a recipient of the Hispanic Association of Colleges  & Universities Scholarship. He is the son of Laura and Rafael Contreras.   In addition to his full-time studies, he works part-time as an outreach and retention specialist for the University. He hopes to become an editor or publisher in the future.

Carlos Zaffirini is a prominent Laredo attorney whose firm engages primarily in civil litigation and has been nationally recognized by the National Law Journal as one of the “50 Winningest Firms in the United States.”  He and his future wife, Judith Pappas, met as children.

Judith Zaffirini is also a native Laredoan and member of the Texas Senate representing the 21st District since her election in 1986.  She is second in seniority in the 31-member Texas Senate and has been named among the “Top 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the United States.”  Zaffirini authored the pivotal  Senate Bill 6 which established TAMIU and authorized joint degrees, undergraduate and master degrees and set the stage for  doctoral degrees. She has secured millions in tuition revenue bond funding for the campus’ construction programs.

The Zaffirinis have been married for 47 years and have a son, Carlos  Jr., an attorney and businessman.

The Beaumont Foundation of America, created in 2001, is dedicated to enriching the lives and enhancing the futures of less fortunate children and youth, families and the elderly with a focus on improving education, health care and social services.

For additional information on the Beaumont Foundation, visit bmtfoundation.com.  An online annual report detailing the Foundation’s mission and funded initiatives is available at http://www.bmtfoundation.com/bfa/pdfs/annual-reports/BFA.2010.Annual%20Report.pdf

To find out more about the Carlos and Judith Zaffirini Endowed Scholarship at Texas A&M International University, please contact Candy Hein, vice president for Institutional Advancement at 956.326.4483, email candy.hein@tamiu.edu or visit offices in the Killam Library, Suite 261.

TAMIU is a Member of The Texas A&M University System and its campus is home to over 7,000 students from over 30 countries.  It awards undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees and is one of the State’s fastest-growing regional universities.

University information is available at tamiu.edu and on the University’s social sites on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and YouTube. A free smartphone and iPad app is downloadable from www.tamiu.edu

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