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Celebrated Philanthropist Teresa Lozano Long Awarded National Humanities Medal in White House Ceremony

President Trump will present the award to Long whose contributions to UT’s Latin American studies program have made an impressive impact

Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies

The namesake of the University of Texas at Austin’s Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS) was honored Thursday at the White House.

President Donald Trump gave Teresa Lozano 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.”

Long certainly qualifies for the honor. In 2000, she and her husband, Joe R. Long, created a $10 million endowment for the institute, which is now considered one of the best Latin American studies programs in the country.

“This is a fitting honor for one of the most dedicated philanthropists in our university’s – and state’s – history,” UT President Gregory L. Fenves said in an email sent out the Longhorn community on Wednesday.

Long and her husband have “created rich and significant educational opportunities for countless students, many of them Latinos,” Virginia Garrard, director of LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections, said in a press release on the announcement of the honor. She “has had an enormous and positive impact in scholarship on Latin America, with benefits far beyond our campus.”

Long is the first Hispanic woman to receive a doctorate in health and physical education at the University of Texas.

“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 in his letter. “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.

The UT Tower will be lit orange Thursday night in honor of Long.

“I am absolutely thrilled for Terry,” Fenves wrote in his email. “Her accomplishments are a reflection of UT’s core values and the very highest aspirations we have for our graduates. In a year when UT students, professors and alumni have received many illustrious awards, this is one of the true highlights.”

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