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Gift of loan repayment changes lives for Hispanic female engineering students

LAS CRUCES – E. Eugene Carter describes himself as a person of privilege: an American white male born during an era when those attributes provided advantages not available to all. His wife de ella, Rita M. Rodriguez, began her American journey at 16 — a Cuban refugee with a penniless, non-English speaking family with no education.

Both earned doctoral degrees and rose to highly successful careers, but Carter never forgot the disparity of their beginnings. Now a retired finance professor, his passion is helping Hispanic women pursue their success as engineers. Toward that end, I founded the E. Eugene Carter Foundation to honor his father, a self-taught engineer and his wife, an international finance expert.

The foundation supports undergraduate female engineering students, giving priority to first-generation Hispanic women. Upon completion of their engineering degrees, Opportunity Award recipients’ Federal Direct Subsidized loans up to $20,000 will be repaid by the university from funds provided by the foundation.

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