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The Miley Gonzalez Scholarship Fund for Indigenous Peoples

Dr. I. Miley Gonzalez (1946-2020) dedicated nearly five decades of his distinguished career to serving students and rural communities, in the United States and globally, working in higher education and government. In addition to serving as CATIE’s Deputy Director General, Director of Education and Dean of the Graduate School, he held extension, teaching and administration positions at Pennsylvania, Iowa New Mexico and Montana State Universities, as well as the University of Arizona.

He was a true gentleman who radiated enthusiasm, cheerfulness and good will and worked tirelessly to help students achieve success. Through his support, CATIE initiated the Henry A. Wallace International Scientific Symposium series and established the Wallace Scholars program. He championed providing higher education opportunities through U.S. minority-serving institutions, including historically Black, Hispanic-serving and Tribal colleges and universities. Dr. Gonzalez brokered the ongoing cooperative relationship between CATIE and historically-Black U.S. agricultural universities. He was a member of the White House Commission for Excellence in Hispanic and Native American Education, and served for more than 15 years on the USDA Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities leadership team.

From 1997 to 2001, Dr. Gonzalez served as the Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, providing oversight for the Agricultural Research Service, the Economic Research Service, the National Agricultural Statistics Service and the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service. Subsequently, he served four years as Secretary of Agriculture for the State of New Mexico. Hispanic Business Magazine recognized him as one the top 100 most influential Hispanics in the U.S.

During his early life, Dr. Gonzalez raised livestock and crops in southeastern Arizona, worked on a cattle ranch in Venezuela, managed farms in northern Mexico. He spent three years as a high school vocational agriculture teacher in Avondale, Arizona, and on a Native American reservation at Parker, Arizona.

The endowment

An endowment fund will be created in memory of Dr. Gonzalez to establish a scholarship for perpetuity that will enable indigenous students from Latin America to earn master's degrees at CATIE's Graduate School.

Cash gifts and pledges for up to 5 years will be received to reach the $ 500,000 goal.

How to make your contributions:

Your [U.S.] tax-deductible contributions [can be] made through The Tropics Foundation.

Send checks [payable to the Tropics Foundation and marked "Gonzalez Scholarship"] to:

c/o Michael Stimpert, Treasurer
The Tropics Foundation
2872 Bainbridge Way SE
Atlanta, GA 30339

Make an online donation:



Note: If you are interested on a pledge commitment please contact Carlos Araya at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information.

The Tropics Foundation is a U.S. 501 c (3) nonprofit charitable corporation created to support sustainable rural development and conservation of the environment in the American tropics. The Foundation works to raise funds for and support the scholarship program of the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center, commonly known by the Spanish acronym CATIE.



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