Mary E. McKinney bequeaths $22 million estate for UTSA student scholarships

Mary McKinney
Mary McKinney and students
Elizabeth McKinney
Elizabeth McKinney and Mary McKinney

Top photo: Mary E. McKinney
Second photo: Mary E. McKinney with her fourth grade students, St. Margaret Mary's School, 1974
Third photo: Elizabeth (Dee) Carnes McKinney (mother of Mary McKinney)
Bottom photo: Elizabeth (Dee) Carnes McKinney (left) and Mary McKinney
>> Read a San Antonio Express-News story (10/6/2010) on the McKinney gift.

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(Oct. 6, 2010)--UTSA President Ricardo Romo posthumously recognized Mary E. McKinney during his annual State of the University address today and announced receipt of the largest single private gift in university history, a $22 million estate gift to fund up to full-ride scholarships for students working to complete their degrees.

"Miss McKinney was an outstanding, humble Texan who did not care for fame or recognition," said Romo. "An avid reader who only wanted to help students, she strongly felt education was the key to success. Through this extraordinary gift, she has established a legacy that will help generations of UTSA students achieve their educational goals."

McKinney's estate, which includes real estate, personal property and a portfolio of stocks and municipal bonds, will continue to fund the Felix and Elizabeth McKinney Memorial Scholarship Fund at UTSA, established by McKinney to honor her parents in 1994. The fund offers renewable scholarships up to the full cost of tuition and fees for full-time students who have completed 30 hours of course work and have a G.P.A. of 2.75 or better.

"Miss McKinney firmly believed that students with strong academic records should not be prevented from completing their education due to a lack of financial resources," said Marjie French, UTSA vice president for university advancement. "The McKinney memorial scholarship fund is a great tribute to Miss McKinney and her parents. The scholarships awarded will help transform UTSA students' lives."

The largest portion of McKinney's estate includes three South Texas ranches in Atascosa and Frio counties on the Eagle Ford Shale, the most significant U.S. oilfield discovery in the last 40 years. Valued at $13 million, the real estate includes surface rights and oil and gas rights to a 640-acre ranch and two 2,300-acre ranches. To maximize the impact of the gift, UTSA has signed a mineral lease for one of the Frio County ranches entitling it to a 25-percent royalty on production.

The remaining portion of the McKinney estate included personal property, a home and securities. McKinney died in San Antonio on Nov. 16, 2009.

"We at Jefferson Bank enjoyed working with Miss McKinney and having her as our friend," said Robert E. Wehmeyer Jr., division president, trust and private asset management, of Jefferson Bank and executor of McKinney's estate. "We are deeply honored to serve as her executor and be the steward to carry out the magnificent charitable bequests made in her will. In working with Miss McKinney, we came to appreciate the importance she placed on education, and we are delighted to be a part of the team that will carry on her legacy at UTSA."

A native Texan born in 1930 and raised on San Antonio's South Side, McKinney earned a bachelor's degree in 1950 from Trinity University at age 19 and a master's degree at the University of Texas at Austin. From 1992 to 1996, she took post-graduate courses at UTSA including classes in Latin, philosophy and ancient history, and Dante.

"For nearly 20 years, Miss McKinney had quietly given nearly $250,000 to support UTSA's students," said French. "This additional donation of her estate is a significant and transformational gift that will support students for many generations to come."

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About Jefferson Bank

Jefferson Bank is a family-owned, community bank serving communities in San Antonio and surrounding areas in the Texas Hill Country. Through the years, the bank has created an elite team of highly skilled, family-oriented and civic-minded individuals who contribute to the bank's continuing success.

The bank was founded just after World War II in the Jefferson neighborhood in San Antonio. It expanded into New Braunfels in 2005 and into Boerne in 2007. Jefferson Bank has grown from a single location on Fredericksburg Road in San Antonio to be one of Texas' most respected independent banks with 11 banking centers, residential mortgage offices and a Trust, Estates and Wealth Management Division.

Characterized by consistent and conservative growth throughout its 63-year history, Jefferson Bank boasts assets close to $725 million. The Trust, Estates and Wealth Management Division of Jefferson Bank holds assets of approximately $870 million.