Friends and family of the late Elizabeth Garcia, who received her bachelor’s degree from UT in 1987, are working to raise funds as her birthday approaches on Feb. 27 to distribute a scholarship in her memory.
Their efforts will contribute to the University’s Rio Grande Valley Scholarship Program. Known as the Lisa Garcia Rio Grande Valley Scholarship, the funds will pay four years of full-tuition for one of the students in the RGV Scholarship Program.
The fund is currently at $90,000 out of a final fundraising goal of $200,000, according to Wendy Anderson, contributor to the scholarship and director of development for the University Development Office.
Anderson said the purpose of the RGV Scholarship Program is to open opportunities for UT students from the Rio Grande Valley who may not have the same access to scholarships and financial aid as other students.
“The local chapters have chapter scholarships that many Valley students benefit from, and a few students might benefit from the prestigious 40 Acres Scholarship program, but we need more full-tuition scholarships for students from the Valley,” Anderson said.
Tiffany Gonzalez, scholarship coordinator for Texas Exes, which will distribute the scholarships, said the program gives RGV scholars a chance to connect with their community in addition to achieving freedom from financial burden.
“It is a large scholarship, which can make a real difference in a student’s ability to attend the University of Texas and the financial burden for their families,” Gonzales said. “Because this scholarship has been created by and is supported by members of the RGV region, these students feel pride in knowing that people ‘from home’ are behind them.”
Christina Nott, nutrition freshman and one of the two RGV scholars, said that the program has been a constant source of support for her while she has been at the University.
“Not only does the scholarship assist with the funds of college, but the RGV Scholars Program is funded by members of the community, all of whom have been so supportive and have consistently offered any assistance to me while I have been attending the University,” Nott said. “By supporting education through scholarships to attend UT, the program is fostering growth and betterment in [the Rio Grande Valley] through a college education.”
To raise the remaining funds, Garcia’s family and friends will hold a birthday celebration, on March 5. It was originally scheduled for Feb. 27 but pushed back because of weather concerns.