Public Service

Gift to UNC Hussman funds Hispanic outreach

The Ramirez family honors their heritage by supporting Spanish-language journalism and executive-in-residence programs.

Carolina Ramirez and her parents posing with open newspaper in front of hallway adorned with Carolina Blue balloons.
Sam and Fabiana Ramirez, parents of Carolina Ramirez '23, are giving back to the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media with a gift supporting Spanish-language journalism programs. (Submitted photo)

Sam and Fabiana Ramirez of New York City, parents of recent UNC Hussman graduate Carolina Ramirez ’23, are giving back to the school and honoring their heritage with a generous gift supporting Spanish-language journalism programs and outreach.

Sam Ramirez is the second generation working in his family’s financial services firm. In 1971, his father, Samuel A. Ramirez, founded Ramirez & Co. Inc., now the oldest Hispanic investment bank in the nation. Sam Jr. joined the business in 1992 and expanded it. “My husband is proud of his heritage and wants to support new generations of Hispanic people,” said Fabiana Ramirez, who recently joined the school’s Foundation Board.

The Ramirez family’s gift will support UNC Hussman’s response to the increased demand for local news delivered in Spanish and for news focusing on issues impacting North Carolina’s Latino communities. This fall, the school relaunched Carolina Ahora and hired CNN National Correspondent Leyla Santiago as the inaugural Daniels Executive-in-Residence.

The executive-in-residence program honors Carolina alumnus Frank A. Daniels Jr. ‘53, the former president and publisher of The (Raleigh) News & Observer, by providing students the opportunity to work with and learn from renowned thought leaders from journalism, media and related professions.

According to the North Carolina Office of State Budget and Management, the Hispanic population is the fastest growing demographic in the state. Current trends forecast that the state will be home to 2 million Hispanic North Carolinians by 2050.

“Our students are eager to serve Latino communities, and our school is committed to providing top-flight education and internship opportunities to make it possible,” said Raul Reis, dean. “We are grateful to Sam and Fabiana Ramirez for supporting our efforts.”

As a high school student in New York City, Carolina Ramirez knew she wanted to have a different experience for her college years. She fell in love with UNC-Chapel Hill on her first visit and eliminated her other options. “It turned out to be the best decision for her,” said Fabiana Ramirez. “She made lifetime friends, enjoyed her time as a student, and had great teachers.” Carolina remains close to her mentor, Jules Dixon-Green, associate dean for undergraduate studies and curriculum professor of the practice.

Carolina Ramirez followed in the footsteps of her father and grandfather and is working in the financial services industry. She recently started a job in private wealth management at Morgan Stanley. The writing and public speaking skills she learned as an advertising and public relations major are already helping her at her job, said Fabiana Ramirez.

“Our daughter is very grateful for her experience at UNC, and we are very grateful, too,” Fabiana Ramirez said.