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Laura Carter Memorial Fellowship


Laura and Juanie - enjoying a bike ride in Southtown Talking on the phone with her mother, Laura Carter excitedly listed off the names of the courses she would be taking along with the professors that would be teaching the classes in anticipation of her next semester at UTSA.  Laura, a graduate student in the College of Education and Human Development’s Counseling program, was set to resume her studies in just two days.


“For some reason I wrote them all down on the back of an envelope,” stated J’Ann Rodriguez-Carter, Laura’s mother.  “To this day, that envelope sits on my desk.  That was the last time I spoke to Laura.”

In January of 2015, Laura Carter’s life was tragically cut short when she was killed in a senseless act of violence.  Forever changed by the loss, Laura’s family, friends, and classmates were left with an emptiness, along with a hope that Laura would not be forgotten.

Making a Connection

Daughter, Father and Mother

Following Laura’s death, her family would have a nightly roundtable of close friends and family.  One evening a friend of Laura’s shared her idea of a way to memorialize her.  She had heard that after cremation a person’s ashes can be made into a diamond.  This idea had some appeal—ashes transformed into an object of beauty—but also left many questions about cost and how she would be remembered.   Then another friend suggested setting up a scholarship in her memory. 

“This idea had instant appeal,” said Rodriquez-Carter.  “It would work to help a fellow student in pursuit of the same goal as Laura’s.  A Masters in Counseling.  If she couldn’t get there, someone else could with help from her, as this would in effect be her inheritance.”

The idea had further appeal upon Rodriguez-Carter remembering that she too was a recipient of the Mary Margaret Moran Scholarship while at UTHSCSA School of Nursing.  It was established by her father in 1976 after his daughter, a nurse who was working in a San Antonio hospital, was killed in 1975.  

“It was a very strange feeling I had realizing that now Laura’s father and I too would be helping students pursuing the path our daughter walked,” said Rodriguez-Carter.

Making a Difference

Laura and her Mother

“I heard recently someone describe death as (one) when the heart stops beating, (two) when a person is cremated or buried and (three) when someone’s name is spoken for the last time.” Laura’s mother stated. “With an endowed fellowship hopefully (number three) (the last) will never be reached…fulfilling our dream of keeping her alive…in a way that we can.” 

The Carter family has created the Laura Carter Memorial Fellowship fund to remember Laura in a meaningful way.  Currently, it is funded annually with a contribution of $2,500 from the family.  As a consequence, the Carter’s have created the very first permanent scholarship opportunity for counseling students at UTSA.  

An annual fellowship provides immediate impact to graduate students in the UTSA Counseling program; but an endowed scholarship will memorialize Laura in perpetuity.  Upon reaching our goal of $100,000 the funds will be invested and managed by UTSA to produce roughly $5,000 every year, forever.  This way, Laura’s name will always be spoken.  

Will you help us meet our goal?

We are asking for support of friends and family to help us reach our goal of $100,000 by December 1, 2015.  All gifts to the fund are 100% tax-deductible.  Join us in memorializing our beloved Laura Carter.

If you have any questions regarding the fund, contact Raitza Garcia, Assistant Director of Development, at (210) 458-6505 or raitza.garcia@utsa.edu