The family of a longtime Laredo educator has established a
scholarship fund in her memory to honor her lifelong pursuit of expanding
educational opportunities for students across Texas.
The Maria Irene Ramirez Irrevocable Trust established a
scholarship fund to assist students with tuition, fees, books and other college
expenses. The Irene and Graciela Ramirez Scholarship Fund is the second
scholarship that she has funded at the college. In 1995, she established the
Candelario & Isaura Ramirez Endowed Scholarship Fund in honor of her
This funding will be available through the Laredo College
Donor Relations and Special Projects Office, which assists donors seeking to
invest in higher education by helping students change their future through a
“We are honored that Dr. Maria Irene Ramirez’s steadfast
commitment to education and passion for helping students will be memorialized
through this scholarship fund at Laredo College,” LC Board President Lupita
Zepeda said. “This trust will go a long way in making higher education
accessible to many students who do not have the financial means to fund their
During an intimate ceremony, family members, who serve as
Trustees for the Maria Irene Ramirez Irrevocable Trust, gathered to present the
check to Laredo College administrators and briefly shared the powerful impact
and legacy Dr. Ramirez left behind. All of the Trustees who were in attendance
included: Ed Ramirez Jr., Hector Ramirez, David Ramirez and Elsa Oviedo.
Dr. Maria Irene Ramirez was born on April 27, 1924, to
Candelario and Isaura Elizondo Ramirez. She passed away on Sept. 27, 2020. She
had a lifelong passion for education and dedicated her whole career toward
advancing the field.
She was 17 when she was orphaned, along with her three
brothers and sister. She and her sister, Graciela, took charge of running the
house for the family. Her brothers–Candelario Hector, Gilberto and Edmundo–took
care of the family businesses, which consisted of dry goods stores and a
working ranch. Her brother, Fausto, was drafted and sent to England during
World War II.
Irene, as she liked to be called, loved to teach, study and
conduct research. She graduated in 1942, with high honors, from St. Augustine
Catholic High School and later graduated from Laredo Junior College. She earned
a Bachelor of Science in Kindergarten and Primary Education from Texas Women’s
University. Later, at East Texas State University, she earned a Master’s Degree
in Library Science and a Doctorate Degree in Education, Supervision, Curriculum
She started her career in Laredo as an elementary school
teacher at McDonnell Elementary, where she worked from 1958 to1971. She then
moved to Austin to work for the Texas Education Agency (TEA) as a consultant in
the Division of Curriculum Development from 1971 to 1984. At the TEA, Dr.
Ramirez served as a member of the Texas Head Start Policy Advisory Board
headquartered at Texas Tech University.
She was a proud descendant of Jose Cristobal Ramirez and
Matiana Hinojosa Ramirez, who were among the founders of Mier, Tamaulipas,
Mexico. As the family historian, her countless hours of research resulted in
numerous documents, records and books that are treasured by her family.
In addition to her educational accomplishments, Dr. Ramirez
earned many endorsements and certificates from the TEA. In 1984, she returned
home to retire in Laredo and was an active member of the Webb County Chapter of
the Retired Teachers Association and the Pan American Round Table of Austin and