A Special Message from UIW President Thomas M. Evans, PhD

April 12, 2024

Carlos Alvarez with UIW students

Dear students, faculty and staff,

I am deeply saddened to share the news of the passing of Carlos Alvarez, a dear friend to UIW and to many throughout our region. Mr. Alvarez was a prominent leader in the business community, a philanthropist and a catalyst for positive change. 

At UIW, he and his wife, Malú, made significant contributions to the Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing and Health Professions and the Feik School of Pharmacy. Notably, they also contributed $1 million to establish the Carlos and Malú Alvarez Endowed Student Scholarship to support high-performing, under-resourced students both financially and with mentoring to participate equally with their peers in activities proven to promote high achievement, such as study abroad, undergraduate and faculty research, professional internships, service-learning, and preparation for graduation and professional school.

Mr. and Mrs. Alvarez’s gift was the first of my presidency at UIW and the largest endowed scholarship the university had received to date.  I will forever be grateful for their belief in our Mission and in our vision to lift the lives of our students, and by extension their families and communities.

He was vested in the student success of the Alvarez Scholars, as the scholarship recipients were known. Since welcoming the first class of scholars in 2019, receptions and luncheons gave every scholar the opportunity to share with Mr. Alvarez all that he had made possible. He, in turn, offered his own wisdom through stories of entrepreneurship, struggles and perseverance, lessons learned, and journeys yet to undertake. At the end of each gathering, he was genuinely pleased to see our students succeeding and to learn of all that they were experiencing through what he and Malú had created.

Mr. Alvarez was also interested in the development of our campuses in Mexico, Centro Universitario Incarnate Word and Campus Bajio, and how we worked as an international system. Pedagogy, curriculum, and faculty collaboration with students were for him keys to unlocking doors.

But, most of all, he was a true believer in the transformative power of education and the difference that UIW makes in the lives of students. This sentiment is best expressed in his own words. In 2019, Mr. Alvarez shared these wise words with us to commemorate the first class of Alvarez Scholars: “Higher education will always be the most important spark for change. Adding the opportunity for students, through this scholarship program, to shoot even higher makes it transformational. We, as a family, are blessed to be given the opportunity to start these UIW students down a path that has proven to be successful in supporting them to not only being leaders in their chosen fields, but to possibly leaving a generational legacy that can help change our communities.”

Carlos Alvarez with UIW student scholars

Please join me in praying for the Alvarez family, friends and everyone who is processing this profound loss. 

In the words of our faith: “May the angels lead him into paradise; may the martyrs receive him at his arrival and lead him to the holy city Jerusalem. May choirs of angels receive him and with Lazarus, once a poor man, may he have eternal rest.”


Thomas M. Evans, PhD