Guadalupe Martinez and his late wife, Lilia, have devoted their lives to helping others.
Born in San Ygnacio to a family whose roots can be traced to the early pioneers of this historic area, Guadalupe Martinez led a long career as a rancher, businessman and philanthropist. For decades, he has dedicated his time and treasure to many organizations, including the South Texas Development Council, Zapata Lions Club, International Good Neighbor Council, Bethany House, Laredo Community College and the Catholic Diocese of Laredo.
A dedicated educator, Lilia Martinez, Guadalupeís wife of 64 years, spent more than three decades as a teacher and principal in the Zapata Independent School District. She pursued many educational opportunities, including earning her masterís degree, and encouraged others to do the same.
The Guadalupe and Lilia Martinez Foundation is giving a gift that promises to greatly impact the future of health education in South Texas. This gift will be a lasting legacy of Guadalupe and Liliaís commitment to education and love for their community.
The Martinez Foundation is generously giving $1 million to the Health Science Center to establish the Joaquin G. Cigarroa Jr., M.D., Distinguished Chair in Medicine.
The son of a dedicated physician, Dr. Joaquin G. Cigarroa Jr., was born and raised in Laredo. He graduated cum laude from Harvard Medical School. After training in some of the nationís most prestigious internal medicine programs, Dr. Cigarroa returned to Laredo to set up a medical practice.
For the past 50 years, Dr. Cigarroa has provided much-needed care to thousands of patients throughout South Texas. In addition, he has been a devoted family man and a great supporter of education. Dr. Cigarroa is truly a model of service for his family, his patients and the entire community.
The holder of the chair will be Abraham Verghese, M.D., D.Sc. (Hon.), who, like Dr. Cigarroa, is a consummate physician with a love of learning and a commitment to South Texas. Dr. Verghese is the Marvin Forland, M.D., Distinguished Professor of Medical Ethics and director of the Center for Medical Humanities and Ethics.
This faculty-physician will educate and inspire the next generation of Texas physicians. In memory of Lilia Martinez, the holder of this chair will sponsor the Lilia Martinez Educational Lecture Series, which will focus on the health concerns of Webb and Zapata counties.
The Health Science Center salutes the Guadalupe and Lilia Martinez Foundation for its commitment to building a better, brighter future for South Texas.
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