Dr. Teresa Lozano Long reflects on life of success after receiving award from president


Dr. Teresa Lozano Long poses with her National Humanities Medal awarded to her by President Donald Trump. (KXAN Photo: Tim Holcomb)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Dr. Teresa Lozano Long reflected on her life of success after receiving an award from President Donald Trump this week.

Long, a University of Texas at Austin distinguished alumna, sat down with KXAN on Saturday to talk about what it was like to receive the prestigious National Humanities Medal on Thursday.

“The long hours that he spends in doing different things and to be able to come and meet and make this presentation to me was amazing,” said Long about President Trump. “I don’t know when that man sleeps.”

She walked KXAN photojournalist Tim Holcomb through her day at the White House, shaking President Trump’s hand twice and also meeting Vice-President Mike Pence. A release from UT President Greg Fenves said, “This is a fitting honor for one of the most dedicated philanthropists in our university’s — and state’s — history.”

Dr. Teresa Lozano Long shows her National Humanities Medal. (KXAN Photo: Tim Holcomb)

The National Humanities Medal is described in the release as honoring “those whose work has deepened the nation’s understanding of the humanities and broadened citizens’ engagement with history, literature, languages, philosophy and other humanities subjects.”

“Terry’s legacy of leadership and giving certainly exceeds this criterion, and what is so unique is that she has made an impact across many, not just one, of these areas. Her influence on our state and nation has been multidimensional and visionary in its scope and scale,” Fenves said.

“It’s fair to say that Austin would not be the same without the Longs,” said President and CEO of the Long Center Cory Baker in an interview with KXAN’s Phil Prazan on Thursday. She said around one-fourth of the money to build the Center came from the couple, more than $20 million dollars.

“I would hope that parents would encourage children to get into the arts as much as they can if they have programs in their community,” Long said Saturday, adding that it’s what helped her find success in her field.

“My parents were always helping people, always, one way or another and I just grew up knowing we needed to help people and we needed education. My parents believed strongly in education and then when my husband and I married, we felt the same way.”

Dr. Teresa Lozano Long

She also noted a request for the next generation.

“Please support the arts,” she said. “So we can continue having because it’s part of history and also so we are aware of what has been before us and what is coming because everything changes.”

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