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Feb. 16, 2023

UArizona to sell home of Gov. Raúl H. Castro, proceeds to benefit students

The University of Arizona is listing for sale the Nogales home of former Arizona Gov. Raúl H. Castro, which was donated to the University of Arizona Foundation for use by the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Proceeds from the sale will support an existing endowed student scholarship fund in Castro’s name.

"The family made this generous gift to the university," said Lori Poloni-Staudinger, dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences since July 2022. "We believe the best way for us to honor the legacy of former Gov. Raúl H. Castro is to invest in students."

In 2015, the university received as a gift the family home of Castro from his grandson, Donald L. Daley. The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences developed plans to turn the home, which was built in 1906, into the Raúl H. and Patricia M. Castro Border Studies and Outreach Center, a UArizona hub in the region for student training, faculty research and community partnerships.

The university was unable to raise the funds needed to cover the restoration and conversion of a historic residential property into a university border center. In addition, with the pivot toward digital modes of meeting and learning, and because the estimated costs for renovating the home tripled since the COVID-19 pandemic, the university decided to sell the home. Donations raised for renovations will either be returned to the donors or added to the scholarship fund, according to the wishes of each funder.

"The College of SBS developed plans for a complete redevelopment of the home into a center. We were excited, and we had honest intentions. We value the relationships we formed with the Nogales community as we tried to make the center a reality," said Poloni-Staudinger. "But after a tremendous amount of consideration, we decided our college is better positioned to serve the community by investing in students and programming rather than owning and maintaining a building."

UArizona Provost Liesl Folks said that the University of Arizona is committed to continuing its presence, programs and collaborations already established in the Nogales community and Santa Cruz County.

Current programs include University of Arizona Nogales, the Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry's Fronteridades program and Santa Cruz County Cooperative Extension. Many academic units – covering topics such as journalism, health and sustainability – engage in instruction, research and community engagement in the border region. In addition, the Southwest Folklife Alliance, a UArizona nonprofit affiliate, produces and supports programs related to folklife along the U.S.-Mexico border, including Nogales.

"We share the Castro family's passion for supporting our border communities, with priority placed on elevating the well-being and outlook for the next generation," Folks said.

Net proceeds from the sale of the Castro home will go to the Raúl H. Castro Scholarship Endowment in the Center for Latin American Studies, per the gift agreement.  

The scholarship benefits students in the Center for Latin American Studies who demonstrate financial need and are studying international relations or local politics.

"The Raúl H. Castro Scholarship has provided valuable financial support to our students who want to follow in the footsteps of Castro and his illustrious career," Poloni-Staudinger said. "We are excited that, thanks to the generosity of the Castro family, the scholarship will soon be able to help more students."

UArizona alumnus Raúl H. Castro, who died in 2015, overcame hardship and discrimination to become Arizona's only Mexican American governor and a U.S. ambassador to El Salvador, Bolivia and Argentina. Castro had many ties to UArizona, including his graduation from the James E. Rogers College of Law, his donation of a manuscript collection housed in University Libraries Special Collections, and his support of the Raúl H. Castro Scholarship in the Center for Latin American Studies.

The Castro's former Nogales home is located on Crawford Street, a historic designated street which holds important significance to the community.

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Media contact:
Pam Scott
University Communications

The University of Arizona, a land-grant university with two independently accredited medical schools, is one of the nation's top 50 public universities, according to U.S. News & World Report. Established in 1885, the university is widely recognized as a student-centric university and has been designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. The university ranked in the top 20 in 2021 in research expenditures among all public universities, according to the National Science Foundation, and is a leading Research 1 institution with $770 million in annual research expenditures. The university advances the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships as a member of the Association of American Universities, the 66 leading public and private research universities in the U.S. It benefits the state with an estimated economic impact of $4.1 billion annually. For the latest on the University of Arizona response to the novel coronavirus, visit the university's COVID-19 webpage.

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