BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS (KVEO NEWSCENTER 23) — The children of Blanca and Filemón Vela will announce the establishment of a scholarship endowment to honor their parents. The endowment was established in July to benefit students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts at UTB.
Filemón Vela was a longtime federal judge and a strong believer in education that was instilled in him at an early age by his parents. Vela taped more than 200 radio programs stressing the value of an education, encouraging children to stay in school and promoting literacy programs. He said he did this because he felt it was as much his duty as it was to hold court. The Pre-Law Academy at UTB is named in his honor. He died in April of 2004.
Blanca Vela served as the first female mayor for the City of Brownsville and much of her life has been devoted to serving the community. She was the co-chair of the Brownsville Public Library Foundation and was instrumental in helping to establish the library. She also served as chairwoman of the Public Utilities Board, was a member of the Brownsville Economic Development Board and a member of the UTB Development Board.
The family is also making an additional gift to support the UTB Archer Fellows for the 2013-2014 school year. Alexandra Edith Rodriguez and Maria Graciela Cano have been selected as Archer Fellows. Rodriguez leaves for Washington D.C. in August and Cano will begin her internship in the spring. Both will attend the ceremony and speak.
The Bill Archer Fellowship was established by The University of Texas System in conjunction with Former U.S. Representative Bill Archer as a way to bring highly motivated and accomplished students to Washington, D.C. to participate in varied internships and take part in classes focusing on policy, economics, and persuasion.