Skip to main content

The Hector and Gloria López Foundation awards $1.4 million grant benefiting Texas A&M-Kingsville first-generation Latino students

Posted on

Aerial photo of Texas A&M University-Kingsville's College Hall building.

The Hector and Gloria López Foundation (HGLF) announced a $1.4M grant to provide full tuition assistance for 15 first-generation Latino students at Texas A&M-Kingsville. At the Foundation's grant announcement: (from left) Kingsville Mayor Sam Fugate, Jim Wells County Judge Pedro "Pete" Trevino, Jr., Texas A&M University-Kingsville freshman Sophia Yzaguirre, Hector and Gloria López Foundation CEO Sergio Rodríguez, Texas A&M-Kingsville President Dr. Robert Vela Jr., Vice President of Institutional Advancement & External Relations and CEO of Texas A&M-Kingsville Foundation Brad Walker, Vice President of Enrollment Services & Student Affairs Dr. Rito Silva.

The Hector and Gloria López Foundation (HGLF) announced a $1.4M grant to provide full tuition assistance for 15 first-generation Latino students at Texas A&M-Kingsville — creating pathways to educational attainment and a pipeline to a successful career.

As part of their larger 2023 gifting commitment, HGLF is awarding $8.8 million total in partnership with five Texas institutions: Texas A&M International, Texas A&M-Kingsville, Texas State University, St. Edward’s University and the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Beginning in the Fall of 2023 and for the next five years, López Scholars will receive support for tuition and fees, as well as other resources including mentorship, tutoring, housing, study abroad programs, paid internships, leadership development and more.

This investment is informed by the Texas 60x30 plan, that calls for 60% of working-age Texans to receive a degree, certificate, or other postsecondary credential of value by 2030. To reach this goal, at least 285,000 Latino students must complete a degree or certificate each year.

In 2021, only 131,915 Latinos completed a degree or certificate and fewer than half of degrees awarded were Bachelor’s (52,011). To help close this gap, the Hector and Gloria López Foundation partners with colleges that are student-ready and dedicated to supporting Latino students in their dream to obtain a four-year degree.

“Texas A&M-Kingsville has proven to support students from all backgrounds so they can achieve their professional and educational goals,” said Sergio Rodríguez, foundation CEO and nephew of Hector and Gloria López. “We’re proud to partner with Texas A&M-Kingsville, one of the first universities designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution, due to its long history of serving our community and the focus on serving first-generation students.” 

The university currently offers a Summer Bridge program, specifically designed to help onboard students who are the first in their family to attend or graduate from college.  Latino students made up 75% of the incoming first-year students for Fall 2022 at Texas A&M-Kingsville and 70% of the total student population.  As part of a mission to increase Latino representation in STEM fields, the university has specific programs to increase graduation in engineering programs under the leadership of Dr. Heidi Taboada, the first Latina Dean of the School of Engineering.

“As a pioneering Hispanic-Serving Institution, Texas A&M-Kingsville has spent that last century closing the gaps to education access and ensuring that all students—particularly those in South Texas—can earn a college degree,” said Dr. Robert Vela, president and graduate of Texas A&M-Kingsville. “The López Foundation is a testament to the importance of targeted investments. This amazing program will be transformative for the López Scholars and will advance our mission of student success.”

Hector and Gloria López left their estate to the Foundation – now Austin-based – in 2021. Their legacy is represented in the Foundation’s commitment to helping remove traditional barriers to resources and supporting the academic success of first-generation Latino college students in need of financial assistance across Texas.

Scholarship candidates do not have to submit an application or meet a minimum GPA or SAT/ACT score. To become a López Scholar, applicants must be Hispanic, demonstrate a financial need, be the first in their family to attend college and have lived in or graduated from a high school in one of the five focus areas — El Paso, Austin, San Antonio, and communities in South Texas and the Rio Grande Valley.

 “The fact that they are admitted is enough for us,“ said Rodríguez. “We don’t need to put up another barrier in order to provide support.” 


The Hector and Gloria López Foundation provides post-secondary educational opportunities for Latino students in Texas, specifically students from El Paso, Austin, San Antonio, South Texas, and the Rio Grande Valley. Founded in 2021, the Foundation aims to reduce the financial and systemic barriers that students face on their journey to obtain a college or university degree. The Foundation also focuses on increasing Latino representation in faculty and administration as well as in philanthropy. For more information visit


Texas A&M-Kingsville seeks to provide quality undergraduate and graduate programs for students of all ages through a judicious blend of liberal and career education programs. The emphasis is on providing an intellectually challenging education reflecting high standards of academic performance. Texas A&M-Kingsville is dedicated to serving an ethnically and culturally diverse population. The University is committed to its mission of teaching, research, and service in South Texas for the advancement of knowledge and of regional development.

Category: General Univ

Media Contact

News Archives