"A Family of Tradition: The Martins"
In Edinburg, Texas, on a quieter side of town along Monte Cristo road, a 58-year old feed store welcomes its customers with the hospitable exterior décor of country living. Martin Farm & Ranch Supply is a family-run business that has been a part of the Edinburg community for over four decades and its ties to The University of Texas-Pan American are just as enduring.
The Beginning of a Tradition
Alfred "Al" Martin moved to Edinburg in 1940 to work as a Vocational Agricultural Teacher and married Harriette Dorothy Hagedorn in 1942. Harriette's family founded the prominent Golden Jersey Creamery in Edinburg. In May of 1955, the couple opened Martin Farm & Ranch Supply, Inc. Their son, Douglas "Doug" Martin, who now runs the business, said his father frequently told all nine of his children that "education is the only thing that they can't take away from you."
Al Martin served on the Board of Regents for what was then known as Pan American College (PAC) from 1960-1965. While some of Doug's siblings expressed interest in other universities, he said his father insisted that every child begin at what is now UT Pan American. Eight of the nine Martin children attended UT Pan American for at least two years before continuing their education at other universities. Doug earned his Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Minor in Chemistry from the University.
The Family Tradition ContinuesThe tradition of ranching and education has now bled into the third generation, with Doug's son, Gregory "Greg" Martin, who graduated from UT Pan American in 2008 with a Bachelor of Business Administration. He has been working with his father at Martin Farm & Ranch Supply since he was enrolled as a freshman.
While attending UT Pan American, Greg says he mostly appreciated his professors' interactive approach to teaching. "About 90 percent of the time I had professors who did their best to try and teach their students. I like professors that do a lot of interactive things in the classroom and I feel that they did their job well," he said.
Doug and Greg Martin stay engaged in their community through organizations like the Rotary Club of Edinburg; Greg is the fourth generation Rotarian from the Martin family.
Vice President for University Advancement, Veronica Gonzales, said "The Martins have been strong partners of UT Pan American for generations. They recognize that times have changed, that our region has grown and that our university has grown with it, but that a few things remain constant - the importance of education and the importance of service over self."
A Gift that Honors TraditionThe Martins' tradition of commitment and philanthropy continues to unfold every day and their progressive thinking drives their every effort toward advancing the Rio Grande Valley. "We need to see what's best for future generations. The past is wonderful, but we need to go forward. We need to do what's best for this region," Doug said.
The Martin family recently created the Harriette Hagedorn Martin and Alfred Martin Memorial Scholarship to honor the memory of their parents and to support UT Pan American students. The family plans to continue growing this endowment to help as many students as possible.
"We need to extend a hand to those people behind us, the generations that are coming up. You may only be able to give ten dollars a month, but stay connected with the University in some way, shape or form. Education is the key to this region of the Valley improving," Doug said.
For more information on Giving Opportunities at The University of Texas-Pan American, please contact the UT Pan American Office of Development at firstname.lastname@example.org or 956/665-5301.