Tarleton Office of Diversity, Inclusion and International Programs Named for Longs
It began with good intentions.
Good intentions that have resulted in more than $150 million donated in support of education and nonprofits in the state.
Dr. Teresa “Terry” Long and her husband, Joe, were teachers at Alice High School when they met. From the earliest days of their marriage more than six decades ago, they were dedicated champions for education, medicine and the performing and fine arts.
“My wife and I both have a deep passion for education at all levels, as it has allowed us to enjoy great success in many different fields,” Joe said. “Education has been the cornerstone of our success, and we are very grateful for the many opportunities it has given us.”
Their latest giving was a $2 million donation earlier this year to benefit underrepresented students at Tarleton State University. In response, Tarleton named the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and International Programs in their honor.
“This wonderful couple have spent their lives supporting educational access,” said Tarleton President James Hurley. “It is fitting that their legacy will forever be associated with our commitment to a culture of equity and opportunity for all. We are excited for the opportunities this gift will provide our underrepresented students.”
In addition to scholarships, the Longs also created an endowed chair in the social sciences. Their most recent gift will support study abroad and research opportunities for students who otherwise might not have the chance to earn a university degree.
Diversity and inclusion punctuated the life of Joe’s beloved Terry — the first Latina to earn a doctorate at the University of Texas at Austin — and she was an integral part of the couple’s generosity toward Tarleton. She passed away in March at 92.
Joe, 91, earned his associate degree at what was then John Tarleton Agricultural College before transferring to UT for his bachelor’s and juris doctorate. The couple received honorary doctorates of humane letters during Tarleton’s spring 2012 commencement ceremonies.
Their investment in Tarleton began with a $1 million gift that established the Joe R. and Teresa L. Long Endowed Scholarship supporting students in the College of Education and Human Development, College of Liberal and Fine Arts, and College of Science and Technology.
More than 70 Tarleton students annually receive these scholarships. Meet one of the recipients, Krisol Villa Flores.
Krisol came to the United State eight years ago from Mexico. Not knowing the language but determined to succeed, she graduated in May and is preparing for her first semester as a bilingual teacher in Waco.
“I am extremely grateful to the Longs for their generosity,” she said. “Because of them and the educational opportunities at Tarleton, my family and I have a very bright future.”
Education made all the difference for Joe and Teresa Long, guiding them toward financial prosperity, global travel, appreciation of the arts and, for decades, pursuit of a desire to expand educational, healthcare and cultural opportunities for others.
Those are genuinely good intentions.