February 10, 2021

Maria "Coco" del Socorro Gonzalez was the first in her family to attend college.

Maria “Coco” del Socorro Gonzalez understood the importance of education. As the first in her family to attend college during a time when many Hispanic women didn’t have that option, the Laredo, Texas, elementary school teacher was determined that her sons would follow in her footsteps. “Our mother believed her job was to educate her three boys and have them obtain a college degree,” said Dr. Jose M. Gonzalez Jr. ’81. “It wasn’t if we were going to college; it was when we were going to college. She was talking about the importance of building citizens before it was in vogue.”

The quality of education that Jose and his brothers, Jose R. “Roomy” Gonzalez ’79 and Gerardo N. “Jerry” Gonzalez ’84, received at Texas A&M University prepared them to attain professional success. Over the years, the three brothers have remained involved in Aggieland by regularly attending home football games and providing financial support to The Association of Former Students.

Today, Coco’s ’s influence extends to the next generation of the Gonzalez family. Six of her grandchildren—including Jose’s two children, Jose M. Gonzalez III ’17 and Angelica B. Gonzalez ’19—earned their degrees in Aggieland. “Texas A&M has given my immediate family so much,” said Jose, who has owned a thriving dental practice in Laredo for more than three decades. “My wife, Annette and I wanted to give a big thank you to Texas A&M because of the experiences the university has afforded us and our children.”

To show his gratitude, Jose named the Texas A&M Foundation as beneficiary of his life insurance policy. This planned gift will be used to create two endowed scholarships. One of them honors the legacy of his mother, who didn’t live to see her sons receive their advanced degrees, by supporting Aggies in the College of Education and Human Development. The second scholarship will support students in the College of Science, where Jose earned his Bachelor of Science degree.

Jose relishes the opportunity to help future generations find their place as Aggies. “As a Catholic, I was raised to contribute through tithing. In planning my estate, I wanted to give a portion to a charitable group and couldn’t think of a better option than the Foundation,” he said. “For the university to remain strong and be at the forefront of higher education, we all need to contribute.”



First-generation students, those whose parents have not earned a bachelor’s degree, account for nearly 25% of Texas A&M University’s undergraduate population.

Click here to learn how the Routh First-Generation Center is increasing student success in Aggieland.


To learn more about how you can support the College of Education and Human Development or College of Science with a planned gift, please contact Kelsey Christian '02 by completing the form below.

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