Philanthropists Joe and Teresa Lozano Long, longtime supporters of the University of Texas System, have donated $25 million to UT Health San Antonio.

The gift, made on the Longs’ 59th wedding anniversary, was the latest contribution the Austin couple has made to the institution, previously known as the University of Texas Health Science Center.

The donation will set up a $1 million distinguished chair endowment for the dean of the School of Medicine, a $4 million endowment to support scholarships for Texas students studying at UT Health to be physicians, and a $20 million President’s Endowment for Faculty Excellence in Medicine.

The $20 million endowment, to be administered by the Office of the President, will support priority faculty recruitment in the medical school.

“Faculty recruitment is crucial to the success of an academic health center, and Joe and Terry Long have empowered us to do this, in perpetuity, for our School of Medicine,” UT Health San Antonio President Dr. William Henrich said in a news release Wednesday.

In recognition of the Longs’ gift, the University of Texas System Board of Regents voted to rename UT Health San Antonio’s medical school the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine.

The Longs gave an initial $1 million to UT Health San Antonio in 1999 to help support scholarships for medical students from South Texas. They followed up with a $25 million gift in 2008 to expand scholarships for Texas students studying to be physicians, nurses, physician assistants, or scientists.

Austin philanthropists Teresa Lozano and Joe Long announced a $25 million gift to UT Health San Antonio.
Austin philanthropists Teresa Lozano and Joe Long announced a $25 million gift to UT Health San Antonio. Credit: Courtesy / UT Health San Antonio

Henrich described the Longs’ latest contribution as transformative to health science education in Texas.

“The enduring result of their legacy of investment in health education and research will be improved health for all,” he said.

The Joe R. and Teresa L. Long Scholarship Research and Teaching Fund, created by the Longs’ 2008 gift is a permanent endowment in the Office of the President. It also supports medical research in diabetes and other diseases that affect the regional population’s health.

Like the Longs, other philanthropists have donated to UT Health to boost its educational and community services. The Santikos Foundation last year donated $2.3 million to support the introduction of high-powered radiological equipment.

UT System Chancellor William McRaven praised the Longs for their latest gift.

“The Board of Regents and UT System are honored to recognize these two devoted and longtime supporters of higher education, Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long,” he stated in a news release. “Their gifts are remarkable for many reasons, but especially for the extraordinary impact they have already had on improving health access and delivery in South Texas.”

The Longs met as young schoolteachers in Alice, Texas. They each earned a doctoral degree from the University of Texas at Austin; Teresa earned hers in education, and Joe earned his in law.

Together, they have given more than $80 million to a number of UT System institutions, including UT Austin, which hosts the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies.

Through their contributions, the Longs have supported more than 290 scholarships to more than 115 students, mostly in the School of Medicine but also in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, School of Nursing, and School of Health Professions at UT Health San Antonio.

Fifty students across four schools at UT Health receive Long Scholarships every year. Currently, 44 physicians practicing medicine in South Texas and elsewhere have been recipients of scholarships funded by the Longs.

Dr. Leo Lopez III, a 2015 medical school graduate, was a scholarship recipient who is now a local primary care resident.

“Their generosity has given me the tools and foundation to go out into the world and serve people for generations,” Lopez said. “I’m proud to carry the name ‘Long Physician’ into my career and practice.”

Joe Long said he and his wife want to ensure that underserved South Texas communities have sufficient health care.

“Our goal is to empower generations of young people to enter health care and enhance the quality of life of our state,” he said.

Edmond Ortiz

Edmond Ortiz, a lifelong San Antonian, is a freelance reporter/editor who has worked with the San Antonio Express-News and Prime Time Newspapers.