AUSTIN, Texas — Teresa Lozano Long, a philanthropist, longtime educator and community leader, died Sunday at age 92, the University of Texas confirmed Monday. Her husband, Joe, was by her side, holding her hand. KVUE's media partners at the Austin American-Statesman reported that she had suffered from a long illness.
Teresa and Joe Long donated money and provided leadership for the performing arts, education and health science for decades. According to the Statesman, the Longs' total gifts to Texas nonprofits and universities have topped $150 million.
Teresa Long was born in the South Texas town of Premont, where she grew up on a dairy farm. She graduated as valedictorian of Premont High School at age 16, attended the University of Texas at Austin and eventually earned a doctorate.
According to UT, she was the first Mexican American and woman to earn bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in kinesiology from the university.
According to the Statesman, in 2002, Teresa Long was appointed to the national council that advises the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2005, she and her husband jointly received the Texas Medal of the Arts for their philanthropy.
In 2010, Teresa Long was inducted into the Texas Women's Hall of Fame. In 2018, she and her husband received the Santa Rita Award, the University of Texas System's highest honor. And in November 2019, President Donald Trump awarded Teresa Long with the National Humanities Award, one of the country's highest civilian honors.
The Longs are perhaps best known in Austin as the namesakes of the Long Center for the Performing Arts. The Statesman reports that nearly 20 years ago, the Longs donated more than $20 million to the project.
Some of the couple's other notable acts of philanthropy include setting up a $10 million permanent fund for scholarships for Hispanic youth across Texas through The Long Foundation and endowing the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies at UT with $10 million. Additionally, in 2017, a $25 million gift allowed them to name the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine at the UT Health Science Center in San Antonio.
Earlier this month, a fire destroyed much of the former Long Estate in the Old Enfield neighborhood of Austin. According to the Statesman, the Longs had previously sold their museum-quality art collection and had moved into a Central Austin retirement community in 2019.
Learn more about Teresa Long's legacy by reading the Statesman's full obituary or reading the release from UT.
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