June 01, 2006 16:17 ET

Lloyd Bentsen, Jr. Founder of the Council for South Texas Economic Progress, Will Be Remembered

EDINBURG, TX -- (MARKET WIRE) -- June 1, 2006 -- The man, born in Mission, Texas, which borders McAllen, spent two years as Hidalgo County Judge, six years in the House of Representatives, 22 years in the Senate, was the 1988 Democratic Party vice-presidential nominee, served as President Clinton's first Treasury Secretary and under his leadership, formed the Council for South Texas Economic Progress (COSTEP), Lloyd Bentsen was considered a thinker, a friend, a Texan and a great American.

In 1972, only two years after being elected to the United States Senate, Senator Lloyd M. Bentsen, Jr. led the effort to charter the Council for South Texas Economic Progress.

"I can think of few programs with which I have been associated that give me more pride and hope than the accomplishments of this organization," Bentsen wrote in reference to COSTEP. "True, there is much, much more to be done in South Texas -- but COSTEP stands today as a beacon of creative achievement."

COSTEP has a long and distinguished history in the economic development of South Texas and today remains active in the operation of the South Texas Higher Education Authority (STHEA), a vehicle to finance higher education for South Texans at the post-secondary level. Operating in cooperation with commercial lending institutions, COSTEP has, through the creation of STHEA, provided over $1.75 billion in student financial aid and scholarships for students attending college, universities, technical and vocational schools.

"We have opened the door of opportunity to thousands of young people and adults in South Texas who might otherwise have been denied the chance to attend college or vocational school," wrote Bentsen. "COSTEP has woven a remarkable fabric of cooperation that extends on a governmental level from Washington, D.C. to Austin, to the counties, the municipalities and the schools of South Texas and to the private sector."

Shortly after becoming operational in 1972, COSTEP's educational program became the model for the nation, with 39 states soon thereafter adopting the South Texas program as a means of assisting their communities in achieving the dream of attaining a higher education. Long time friend and original founding director of COSTEP, Jesse Treviño, remembers Lloyd Bentsen, Jr. "He was a visionary with a deep concern for the education and welfare of the people of South Texas," said Treviño.

"Next year COSTEP's educational program will celebrate 35 years of service to the South Texas Community. We will miss that great man from Mission, Texas, Lloyd Bentsen, Jr. who did so much for so many," stated Patricia Beard, President of COSTEP. "He will be remembered."

Contact Information

  • For more information contact:
    Patricia Beard