Carmen de la Viña Avila
Carmen V. Avila was born in Edinburg on May 1, 1908, one mile west of Carmen V. Avila Elementary School off of Cibolo Road. One of the first person born in Edinburg, she attended grade school and graduated from high school in 1926. Mrs. Avila continued her education and was the first Hispanic to graduate from the first graduation class of the University of Texas Pan American, known then as Edinburg Jr. College. In 1929 she earned her B.A. degree. In 1931, Mrs. Avila continued her education by going to Texas A&I in Kingsville and earned her masters degree. Mrs. Avila taught at the Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District for 38 years. She started teaching at Austin Elementary, then went to Lincoln Elementary and finished her illustrious career at Edinburg Jr. High. In 1976 she would have taught for 45 years had she not taken a leave of absence for her two children to reach first grade.
Mrs. Carmen de la Viña Avila's family moved here from Spain in the late 1800's when given a land grant from the King of Spain. She was a relative of the pioneering families to this area, the Velas and Cardenas.
Mrs. Avila's parents were founding members of El Buen Pastor Methodist Church in Edinburg.
She also participated in numerous social and community events. Mrs. Avila died on December 11, 1996 at the age of 88.
Upon her request, the Carmen de la Viña Avila - Betty Hoffmaster Harwell Scholarship Fund was initiated to reward qualified students wishing to further their education in Liberal Arts.