Sylvia Tellez ’79 is the youngest of nine children. She was born in San Diego and traces her roots to Mexico—a point of pride for Tellez. But growing up in the 1940s and 1950s, Tellez felt the pressure from stereotypes attached to women and minorities. School counselors directed her away from college-track classes, and Tellez felt destined for a career path as a secretary. That outlook changed when she was a student at Santa Clara, where she received the Everett Alvarez ’60 scholarship and came to see herself as “an individual who had power and who had gifts, and who was not just going to do what someone else expected of me.”
After retiring, she reflected on the lessons she learned at Santa Clara and how they have guided her—both in her career and, most important, spiritually and as a member of her community. The decision to donate to the Everett Alvarez scholarship through her retirement savings became obvious.
“How could you not?” Tellez says. “I’ve received so much. The tradition here is to have people grow. Santa Clara is so nourishing. I was offered a hand and I took it.”
And in her way, Tellez is ensuring that future generations may be offered a hand as well.
FOR MORE INFORMATION about planning your own legacy for future generations, please contact the Office of Gift Planning: Liz Gallegos Glynn, CFRE • 408-554-2108 • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.scu.edu/giftplanning