MCALLEN, Texas – South Texas College is to launch a new foundation next month with the aim of raising one million dollars in the first year. 

Details on the project were revealed exclusively to the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service by Dr. Rodney H. Rodriguez, vice president of institutional advancement and economic development at STC.

“Effective September 1 we are going to make a huge announcement that South Texas College will now have an actual foundation to be able to work with our philanthropic partners, our foundations, for endowments, scholarships, any type of resource to support educational initiatives for our students here at the college,” Rodriguez said, proudly.

Dr. Rodney Rodriguez

“I will be leading that charge with the vision of President Solis and the board of trustees. I have their support to lead that charge and I am really excited. It will be called the South Texas College Foundation.”

It could be argued that the foundation is not really new because it has been in existence, with little activity, for many years.

“We have had the foundation since the inception of South Texas College but it has never been an active foundation. So, we are going to play a little bit of catch up. But you know, with me at the helm, we are going to expand that pretty quickly.”

Rodriguez confirmed the foundation has a separate board of directors, a separate 501(c)3 designation, and is a separate taxing identity. 

Asked how interested parties can learn more about the foundation, Rodriguez said: “Call South Texas College, the office of the president and ask for the foundation and we will get the information to them.”

The foundation’s mission statement will be unveiled just before the Sept. 1 launch, Rodriguez explained. “We will have a huge event September 1, a great gala for the foundation members.”

Asked what the foundation’s financial target will be, Rodriguez said: “We have a very ambitious goal. We are hoping for $1 million the first year. It is high but you know it is achievable. We have great support. Our alumni is incredible here at South Texas College. We think we can do it.”

It was put to Rodriguez that STC is held in high regard in the community, often highlighted as a game changer that has spurred the economic vitality of its catchment area, Hidalgo and Starr counties. Rodriguez, naturally, agreed.

“I, myself, took one semester in my early freshman year here at South Texas College, if you can believe it. But, everyone I speak to from elected officials, from philanthropists, from business people, they always say, I went a year to South Texas College and then I got my degree. Everyone is connected in some way, shape or form to South Texas College.”

Working with the Mexican Consulate’s Office

Rodriguez gave his interview about the new foundation following a news conference at STC’s Pecan Campus in McAllen. The news conference was held to announce further funding to help international students from Mexico. 

“We are going to match the dollars the Mexican Consulate’s Office provides to expand initiatives for our international students from Mexico,” Rodriguez said. “We will match the $9,000 the Consulate is giving us. They money can be used to help with any educational credential. Taking these qualifications back to Mexico is incredible for the students.”

Rodriguez said STC currently has a little over 100 students from Mexico. “We want to double this amount for next year. We want to reach more students in Mexico.”

Rodriguez noted that STC has also expanded its dual credit courses into high schools in Mexico. It also provides training to maquiladora workers in Reynosa. 

With all this focus on Mexico a reporter suggested STC be renamed South Texas International College. Rodriguez responded: “We are complimenting our traditional student body.”

Asked for any wrap-up remarks, Rodriguez said: “I just want to let the community know that South Texas College is here for the students, to partner with industry and to lead the way with workforce and economic development.”

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