UIW Receives Major Grant from the Hector and Gloria López Foundation

March 26, 2024

Nearly $2.5 Million Grant to Assist First-Generation Students

Group accepting grantSan Antonio – March 26, 2024 – The University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) is proud to announce today that the Hector and Gloria López Foundation (HGLF) has awarded the university a generous grant of $2,477,933. The grant is part of the López Foundation’s larger gift of $7.2 million made to three universities in San Antonio including UIW, St. Mary’s University and Our Lady of the Lake University. The Hector and Gloria López Foundation was founded to honor the legacy of Hector and Gloria López, married business partners and prominent community figures from South Texas who viewed their higher educational opportunities as the basis for their economic prosperity.

According to the López Foundation, this investment in first-generation Texas students is designed to help students graduate debt-free with the resources, leadership skills, and support needed to achieve lasting economic success. López Scholar cohorts at the three institutions will begin in the Fall of 2024.

“The University of the Incarnate Word and the López Foundation align in so many ways, but at the heart is our shared belief that higher education is a catalyst for economic and social mobility and key to the growth – and good – of our region,” says Dr. Thomas M. Evans, UIW president. “We are deeply grateful to the López Foundation and extremely proud to receive this transformative gift that will offer a life-changing opportunity for incoming Latino students and, by extension, their families and communities.”

López Scholars study a range of majors and disciplines. They may be first-time freshmen or transfer students from other colleges or universities. There is no application to be a López Scholar. Students are selected randomly by grantee universities among those who have been admitted. Students must demonstrate financial need, be the first in their family to attend college, be Latino and live in or graduate 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.

In addition to receiving tuition assistance, López Scholars will receive funding for a range of expenses associated with higher education. This includes housing, paid internships, study abroad programs and leadership development. This support also covers costs that may pose barriers to student success, such as purchasing a laptop, getting health insurance, paying for childcare and tutoring. Funding will also be allocated towards university staff to support the Scholars on their journey to degree completion.

“We believe that, when possible, students should have the opportunity to pursue higher education without financial burden,” says Sergio Rodríguez, HGLF president and CEO and nephew of Hector and Gloria López. “We are excited to invest in students at San Antonio universities that are committed to addressing the unique needs of first-generation students, with comprehensive support for these students’ success both during their college years and after graduation.”

It is the stated vision of the University of the Incarnate Word to graduate students with the lowest possible debt and allow them to secure a career that lifts their lives, their families and their communities. UIW is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution where 24% of students are first-generation and 54% of students are from Hispanic heritage. UIW is ranked first in the nation among Catholic universities graduating Hispanic students with bachelor’s degrees. It also ranks number 6 in the nation among private universities in promoting Social Mobility according to recent rankings in US News and World Report.

The López Scholar grants have the dual objective to put Latino students on an educational path to economic prosperity and to meet the job demands of the growing Texas economy and population. Four in 10 workers in the Texas labor force will be Latino by 2031 according to Texas Demographic Center projections – at the same time, 3 in 10 Texas jobs will require a bachelor’s degree or higher. This will require at least one and a half times more Latinos to earn a bachelor’s or graduate degree focused on high-demand fields like healthcare, business and finance, computer and mathematical science and education to meet workforce demand in the coming years.


MEDIA CONTACT: Michael Valdes, Media and Public Relations Manager, Office of Communications & Brand Marketing, (210) 829-6001, (210) 422-4052 or michael.valdes@uiwtx.edu

About UIW

With over 140 years of tradition, the University of the Incarnate Word is committed to educational excellence in a context of faith in Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word of God. UIW programs constitute a liberal education that fosters a well-grounded intellectual resilience, a disposition toward lifelong learning, and an acceptance of responsibility for the ethical consequences of our ideas and actions. Founded in 1881, UIW is the largest Catholic university in the state and the fourth largest private university in Texas. UIW students can choose from degrees offered at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels. The University is committed to graduating students with the lowest amount of debt load possible and to help them secure a career that lifts their lives, their families and their communities. With a beautiful main campus in the heart of San Antonio, in 2019, UIW purchased a 10-acre landmark property at 4119 Broadway which increased the footprint of the UIW Broadway Campus by 15%. The building is now known as Founders Hall. UIW has locations throughout San Antonio, South and Central Texas, two campuses in Mexico and a European Study Center in Strasbourg, France. UIW is a leader in international education, with over 146 “sister schools” in 45 countries and it is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution. The University is a member of the NCAA Division I Southland Conference and is proud to have 25 teams representing 14 different sports. UIW is a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word.