Posted: 6/23/22

Ruby South Lowry Scholarship Fund Provides Medical School Scholarship to TAMIU Graduates


Dr. Ruby South Lowry
Dr. Ruby South Lowry  

Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) recent graduates who have been accepted into an accredited Texas Medical School are being encouraged to apply for a renewable four-year scholarship. 

The Ruby South Lowry Scholarship Fund for Medical School provides $25,000 annually for four years with satisfactory progress towards completion of a medical doctorate.  Applications are being accepted at go.tamiu.edu/lowrymedicalschool  

Criteria for selection include that the applicant is admitted to Medical School in 2022, enroll full-time, demonstrate financial need, and provide support information including a personal statement detailing applicant’s interest in medicine, academic resume, transcript, two letters of recommendation, and an official letter of acceptance to an accredited Texas medical school.

The Scholarship honors the late Dr. Ruby South Lowry, a much-beloved medical doctor in Laredo who practiced well into her late 80s and delivered over 20,000 Laredo babies.  It also extends Dr. Lowry’s legacy, while expanding upon a family tradition of scholarship giving to TAMIU.

TAMIU vice president for Institutional Advancement Rosanne Palacios said this distinction is important.

“Scholarships are a remarkable way to honor our family, but to then want to extend that legacy further with another gift that helps our students and graduates to pursue the same profession that defined Dr. Lowry’s life – that is truly extraordinary,” Palacios said.

In 2010, Lowry’s grandson, local banker and rancher Albert T. Lowry, and his wife, Diana S. Lowry, established the Dr. Ruby South Lowry Endowed Scholarship Endowment for TAMIU pre-med or pre-veterinarian students.  In 2011 they expanded this tradition with the Ruby South Lowry Scholarship Fund for Medical School. To date, both scholarships have awarded over $345,312 to deserving TAMIU students and graduates.

With the establishment of the first scholarship, Lowry said he hoped that TAMIU students would be inspired by his grandmother’s example and that they too would chart their history in medicine, perhaps in Laredo.

“My grandmother was a true trailblazer in medicine.  As a woman and a doctor, she set a historic standard for care here.  Our hope in providing this Scholarship is that her legacy lives on here or elsewhere.  We believe this is the best way to honor her and encourage others to follow her lead,” he explained then.

Ruby Belle South Lowry was born in 1898 in San Marcos, TX.  One of the first women admitted to Rice University, she did so in part with the assistance of a $250 scholarship provided by the Daughters of the American Revolution, then the first scholarship awarded to a woman at Rice. 

Lowry graduated from Rice in 1919 with a bachelor’s degree and received her medical degree in 1928 from the University of Texas at Galveston.  She married Willis Edward Lowry, and the couple had five children.  When her husband died unexpectedly when the oldest child was 11, she moved to Laredo and set up a medical practice.

Lowry was also the school doctor for the Laredo Independent School District. By the time she retired from the medical profession at age 88, she had delivered over 20,000 babies. She proudly maintained a file with the names of every baby she delivered. While a much-loved and talented physician, it was not unusual to see Lowry respond to a call for help with an animal delivery, illness, or injury -- throughout Laredo and Webb County. 

Deeply committed to her adopted home, she was active in a number of organizations, and the Washington’s Birthday Celebration Association named her a Parade Marshall.  In 1995, The Laredo Morning Times named her one of five “Women of the Year.”

Prior to her death in April 1996, she returned to the Rice campus in 1995 to attend a meeting of the John McKnitt Alexander Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.  Then 97, she stood and proudly thanked the DAR for the scholarship that she said changed her life in 1919.

Current TAMIU recipients of the Dr. Ruby South Lowry Endowed Scholarship must meet federal guidelines for financially disadvantaged student status, maintain a minimum of a 3.5 cumulative average while at TAMIU, and plan a career in the medical, dental, pharmaceutical, and veterinary sciences or psychology fields. If pursuing medicine, the applicant must be accepted into one of TAMIU’s Cooperative Programs for early acceptance. Applications for the renewable scholarship are currently being accepted at go.tamiu.edu/lowry

For more on either of the Dr. Ruby South Lowry Scholarships, please contact Azeneth Vazquez, gifts coordinator, at azeneth.vazquez@tamiu.edu, call 956.326.2167, or visit Institutional Advancement offices in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, suite 261.

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