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Guest Blogger: Alana Coates

Alana CoatesGuest Blogger: Alana Coates is a graduate student studying art history and criticism and a beneficiary of generous scholarship support from UTSA friends, Carlos and Malu Alvarez. She shares her thoughts about a recent opportunity to meet Mr. Alvarez.

It was a great experience for me to attend the luncheon at Piatti Ristorante at the Quarry last month. The event was hosted by the university to provide students the unique opportunity of connecting with their scholarship and fellowship benefactor. I attended as one of the many (four tables full) award recipients to benefit from the incredible generosity of Carlos Alvarez. Mr. Alvarez has proven his dedication to higher education by giving to UTSA for close to a decade now. He is the president and CEO of The Gambrinus Co., a brewery company that produces, among other labels, Shiner Beers.

Mr. Alvarez has made a tremendous difference in my educational career and my financial future. I am the beneficiary of two such awards from Malu and Carlos Alvarez within the College of Liberal and Fine Arts and the Art Department. Being a little nervous at first to meet him, I was hoping that I would live up to his expectations of my academic endeavors so that he would be pleased that I was chosen to receive the scholarship. But my worries quickly dissolved as he addressed the room full of eager students with his charismatic personality. All of us already knew that he was a generous man, but we all found out that he was also very kind and charming.

The luncheon consisted of a delicious four-course Italian meal, in which Mr. Alvarez musical-chaired his way throughout the room. He took the time to meet and speak with each of the students individually, enjoying each course at a different table to enable him to interact with the recipients personally. He asked each student how their studies were progressing and what their academic aspirations were, and even advised some of us on the dangers of pursuing an academic path—he joked that you may only find a teaching position in your field in some potentially undesirable location like Iowa!

Mr. Alvarez’s success in business is testament to his hard work and determination. This is reaffirming to graduate students like me who may have postponed much enjoyment in life for such rigorous dedication to our areas of study.

And Mr. Alvarez’s commitment to education through his philanthropy is a personal inspiration. Mr. Alvarez not only reaffirmed that hard work is still rewarded, and encouraged us all to continue our academic pursuits with fervor, he also fueled us all with a even greater desire to succeed so that to honor the person whom made the opportunities of pursuing higher education available to us. Mr. Alvarez alleviated major financial stress for me, and in doing so inspired me to aim for his benevolent morality; I hope to one-day become a benefactor for a future UTSA art major and pass the opportunities that Mr. Alvarez has afforded to me forward.


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Guest Blogger: Alana Coates is a graduate student studying art

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