Profiles of Impact

Sabrina Quirarte McGowan ’93

A Father’s Legacy Inspires Endless Support for Art History Students

Founding dean of UTSA’s College of Liberal and Fine Arts and art history professor, Jacinto Quirarte, spent 36 years with the university. As one of the first scholars to write about the Chicano art movement, Jacinto left a lasting legacy at UTSA, changing the landscape of art history curriculum by leading the movement to have pre-Columbian art and the architecture of the missions become included in the art history mainstream. He received his own education by working multiple jobs to put himself through school, ultimately attaining his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Jacinto’s daughter, Sabrina Quirarte McGowan ’93, inherited his passion for learning and higher education. In 2005, she created the Jacinto Quirarte Endowed Scholarship in Art History, in his honor. She and her husband, Patrick, also recently named UTSA as the sole beneficiary of their estate.

“My father was a wonderful example of the impact higher education can make in your life - both as a student and as a professor. He was dedicated to education, and it was life-changing for him. He was the first person in his family to go to college and worked multiple jobs to put himself through undergraduate and graduate school. As a Mexican American, he was denied scholarship opportunities in those days. He loved teaching and his students and believed in life-long learning.”

Sabrina never questioned if or where she would attend college. With her father placing such a significant emphasis on higher education, she grew up simply knowing she would end up a UTSA Roadrunner. Sabrina attended the College of Liberal and Fine Arts, even taking some of her father’s classes, and graduated with her bachelor’s degree in English in 1993. Like her father, Sabrina made a passion out of her career and even started her own business, SQM Communications, LLC, which provides strategic communications counsel and services for businesses, non-profits, and government agencies.

When Sabrina and Patrick sat down to go over their estate planning, it did not take long for them to decide where their support would go. Sabrina wanted to make sure she continued honoring her father for the incredibly positive and motivational influence he had on her life.

“My success and life today are largely due to the work my father did for our family, and the example he set for me. I just thought, what if we make our entire gift to my father’s scholarship?” expressed Sabrina. “He showed me that having a good education will enrich your life, and my husband agreed.”

The Jacinto Quirarte Endowed Scholarship in Art History supports undergraduate students pursuing their arts history degrees in COLFA. Through naming UTSA as the sole beneficiary in their will, Sabrina and Patrick’s generosity, along with Jacinto’s legacy, will live on in perpetuity and provide endless educational opportunities to generations of UTSA students for years to come.

The University of Texas at San Antonio Donor Sabrina Quirarte McGowan ’93
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