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OLLU receives historic $2.2 million grant

Mar 27, 2024

Our Lady of the Lake University has received the largest private donation in its history,  a $2.2 million grant from the Hector and Gloria López Foundation to benefit first-generation students.

“This will be a transformative gift for many of our students, about 40 percent of whom are first-generation,” said OLLU President Abel A. Chávez, PhD, a first-generation graduate himself. “We are excited and grateful for the enormous generosity of the Hector and Gloria López Foundation.”

López Foundation President and CEO Sergio Rodriguez unveiled the check on March 27 as mariachis sang and confetti rained upon a large gathering in the Moye Rotunda.The first scholarships will be awarded in fall 2024. Recipients will be known as López Scholars. The scholarships are designed to help students graduate debt-free with the resources, leadership skills and support needed to achieve lasting economic success.

In addition to tuition assistance, López Scholars will receive funding for a range of expenses associated with higher education. Examples include housing, study abroad programs, leadership development and paid internships.

The grant support also covers costs that may pose barriers to student success, such as purchasing a laptop, obtaining health insurance and securing childcare and tutoring. Funding will also be allocated towards university staff to support the López Scholars on their journey to degree completion.

López Scholars study a range of majors and disciplines and may be first-time freshmen or transfer students from other colleges or universities. López Scholars are selected randomly by grantee universities from the first-generation students who have been admitted. Students must demonstrate financial need, be the first in their family to attend college, and live in or graduate from a high school in one of five focus areas – El Paso, Austin, San Antonio, and communities in South Texas and the Rio Grande Valley.