Associate Dean of the Graduate College and LAS Affiliate Maria Teresa Velez Passes Away



Dr. Velez's students called her a "tenacious advocate, a supporting pillar with an electric ability to inspire and a champion for graduate students and their development."



April 14, 2016

Dear LAS friends, colleagues, students,


I am so sorry to have to share this very sad and unexpected news with you. Our dear friend and colleague Maria Teresa Velez passed away today. She spent her entire career supporting others in their quest for academic excellence, she was a role model for many women in academia, and she was a dear friend to many us. She was truly "una mujer de armas tomar".


There will be a gathering to remember her spirit this Friday from 3 p.m-8 p.m. at Aloft Hotel 1900 E. Speedway Blvd.

All are welcome, faculty, students, staff, alumni.


We will forward more information about services or other gatherings as we receive them.


Here are a couple ways to begin to honor and remember her legacy:


 Graduate college: We will be offering the Dr. Maria Teresa Velez Diversity Leadership Scholarship. This award will be given annually to a degree seeking masters or doctoral, new or continuing, graduate student who, through their teaching, research, or outreach and service, has demonstrated a commitment to furthering diversity in education, higher education, and the community at large. The award will consist of a cash stipend of $25,000 and a Graduate College Tuition Scholarship to cover full base tuition for one year, as well as a handsome plaque honoring the awardee and Dr. Velez and her pioneering contributions in this domain. The awardee will be responsible for mandatory registration fees, program fees and health

insurance and must demonstrate sufficient need by filing the FAFSA if domestic or the FAFSA

equivalent for international students found at

fellowships-gcf . Nominations for the award may be made by the student’s peers, teachers,

advisors, or University administrators. Information and application will be available at the University of Arizona Graduate College website


If you would like to celebrate Dr. Velez by donating to a scholarship in her name, please consider the Las Adelitas, Arizona, Dr. Maria Teresa Velez Scholarship found at


Marcela Vásquez-León, PhD

Director, Center for Latin American Studies

Associate Professor, School of Anthropology

University of Arizona


LAS Director Marcela Vasquez Leon visiting Dr. Velez's family in Cuba, including her brother Alberto Marques and sister-in-law Ana.

Published Date: 

04/14/2016 - 13:51

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