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Teresa Lozano Long Dies at 92: Austin Honors Patron of Arts and Education

Long, who passed away on March 21 at 92, is remembered for her contributions at the University of Texas and beyond

Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies

Austin has lost a legendary figure in the realms of arts and education.

Teresa Lozano Long, whose name is affixed to the city’s most prominent center for performing arts, died on March 21, 2021. She was 92.

The Austin Symphony Orchestra, Ballet Austin and the Austin Opera perform on stages at the Long Center, a complex Long and her husband, Joe Long, helped fund with a donation of $20 million.

In a tweet after her passing, the Long Center wrote, “Tonight our ring beam is white in remembrance of Teresa Long’s enduring support of the arts, arts education, and Austin’s cultural landscape. Austin has lost a dear friend, and our hearts go out to Joe and the Long family as we continue to be inspired by Teresa’s life and legacy.”

The Austin Opera wrote on Twitter: “Teresa Lozano Long was a founding member of the Board of Trustees and a major supporter of Austin Lyric Opera along with her husband Joe. Teresa has left a lasting legacy as an incredible philanthropist who made our arts community stronger.”

Austin Mayor Steve Adler also sent out condolences, tweeting, “Teresa Lozano Long, and her husband Joe, opened doors to worlds that would otherwise have been unavailable to so many. I close my eyes and can feel the warmth that would come with her smile and support. Austin has lost one of its royalty.”

Long is also remembered for her contribution to the University of Texas at Austin’s Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS). In 2019, former President Donald Trump gave Long the National Humanities Medal, which is awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities to “individuals or groups whose work has deepened the nation’s understanding of the humanities and broadened our citizens’ engagement with history, literature, languages, philosophy, and other humanities subjects.”

In a letter to the Longhorn community acknowledging the honor at the time, UT President Gregory L. Fenves wrote about Long and her legacy at the university where she was the first Hispanic woman to receive a doctorate in health and physical education.

“Terry came from humble beginnings, growing up in the small South Texas town of Premont. With her parents’ encouragement and support, she thrived throughout her academic career,” Fenves wrote. “She, along with her husband Joe, has championed generations of UT students – funding numerous scholarships and endowments, including a transformative gift that led to the naming of the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies … Her accomplishments are a reflection of UT’s core values and the very highest aspirations we have for our graduates.”

A public graveside service was planned at Cook-Walden/Capital Parks Cemetery in Pflugerville for March 24, the Austin American-Statesman reported. In lieu of flowers, the Long family requested that memorial contributions be made to Austin Soundwaves, Avance-Austin or the Texas Interscholastic League Foundation.