$1 Million Estate Gift will be a Game Changer for Future UTRGV Student-Athletes

Dan and Terry Martinez, of Richmond, TX
Dan and Terry Martinez of Richmond, TX, have set aside a $1 Million estate gift for UTRGV Athletics. It is the largest donation in the history of Athletics, to date.

By Lisa Peña

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – JUNE 6, 2017 -The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is celebrating a victory, and the MVP’s are Dan and Terry Martinez of Richmond, TX. The couple, with deep Valley roots, set aside $1 million through an estate gift for UTRGV Athletics and student-athletes. “We want them to have as much as everybody else,” said Mr. Martinez. “…Scholarship support, facilities, uniforms, what they need to be successful.”

The Martinez family rarely misses an opportunity to cheer on the Vaqueros during their Valley visits and at away games in the Houston area. Now, these fans are supporting student-athletes with their generosity. This is the largest donation in the history of Athletics, and the program’s first 7-figure commitment. “When realized, this gift will ensure that our future student-athletes will have the resources for educational success, and a first-class experience,” said UTRGV Athletics Director Chris King. “Thanks to this generous planned gift, their impact will be felt far into the future.”

The estate gift will go to the university upon Dan Martinez’s passing and the gift is unrestricted, meaning Athletics leadership will decide the best use for the funding. “If what you leave behind is helping other people, why not?” said Mrs. Martinez. “I want to encourage UTRGV student-athletes to shoot for the stars, dream big and just work hard to get there.”

The Martinezes know how far hard work will take you. Dan Martinez, a San Benito, TX native, graduated from Pan American University, a UTRGV legacy institution, in 1978 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting. Upon graduation, he landed a job with the state as an auditor. He eventually left that position and used his experience to build his successful business from the ground up, Dan Martinez & Associates, State Tax Specialists. He has now been in business for 25 years, defending tax payers who are being audited by the State of Texas. “I’m grateful that I went to Pan American. I’m grateful that it gave me the education and foundation I needed to build my career,” Mr. Martinez said.

Terry Martinez, originally from Harlingen, TX, is a retired educator with 30 years of experience guiding young lives. She also set the foundation for her education and career at Pan American University, attending for one year before moving away with her husband. She continues to have strong ties to the Rio Grande Valley. “I love the Valley. I grew up there. I love the people, the university, the kids,” Mrs. Martinez said. “I want kids to never feel that they can’t go to school. I want them to always have that opportunity.”

This gift will not only provide opportunities, but serves as an example of the power of planned giving. “This is truly a transformative gift for UTRGV Athletics,” said UTRGV Founding President Guy Bailey. “This significant investment in our future student-athletes will provide them with valuable support and resources. We are thankful to Mr. and Mrs. Martinez for their generosity, and for choosing to leave this lasting legacy at UTRGV.”

Dan and Terry Martinez say the decision to leave an estate gift to the university was a choice based on trust. For years, they connected with the university through alumni events. One meeting in particular, encouraged them to go further. “One day, Chris King came to meet with us. He shared the mission and vision of Athletics and the needs of the department. By the end of the meeting, I said ‘You know what Chris, I’m going to help you’,” said Mr. Martinez. The Martinezes saw their promise through, giving to Athletics repeatedly. Their generosity culminated with this latest, 7-figure commitment. “It makes me feel good,” said Mrs. Martinez. “It’s really something wonderful.”