D. D. Hachar Program

2016 Speakers: Elaine Aradillas & Gary Cooper

Elaine Aradillas is a crime reporter at PEOPLE magazine in New York City. When she’s not covering breaking news, she’s usually reporting on missing people or scouring newspapers for new mysteries.

While working at PEOPLE, she became a bit of an expert on the 1969 murders committed by cult leader Charles Manson. She recently appeared on NBC’s Dateline to discuss the infamous case. Before she started working at PEOPLE in 2008, she worked at various newspapers including the San Antonio Express-News and Orlando Sentinel; She interned at The New York Times after earning her graduate degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in 2004. She earned her BA from the University of Texas.

Gary Cooper: Born and raised in Del Rio, Texas, Gary Cooper spent many weeknights watching the local news from San Antonio.  After college, Gary left his secure, full-time job with Sprint to take a minimum wage job with KENS – TV as a production assistant.

While operating cameras, running prompts, and changing lightbulbs in the main studio, he would shadow reporters and photographers in the newsroom and in the field. That gamble of quitting a nice job to chase a career in news has since paid off. Gary started reporting in Shreveport, Louisiana, then came back to San Antonio and reported for KENS
and WOAI respectively. Gary is now at Univison in San Antonio and is assigned to produce more original, bilingual stories for on-line instead of on-air.


About the Program:

H-LOGO1-COLORThe D. D. Hachar Visiting Hispanic Media Professionals Program is a joint venture between the university and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Students visit campus for the day to participate in presentations by mass communication professionals and visit campus facilities, including campus media and residence halls. For many of the students, this was their first visit to a college campus. More than half of the students indicated they would be the first in their family to attend college.

The Laredo students traditionally visit campus in October during Mass Communication Week so they can mingle with college students and benefit from a variety of mass communication professionals who speak on campus for the event. About 600 Laredo students have visited Texas State University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication since the beginning of the partnership with the D.D. Hachar Charitable Trust in 2004.

The Texas State University Office of Admissions also provides financial support for the program as does the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the University Bookstore.


The D. D. Hachar Visiting Hispanic Media Professionals Program with the School of Journalism and Mass Communication in Texas State University hosts professionals in the field of communications to visit Texas State University during Mass Comm Week. At the same time the program hosts high school students from Laredo to visit the campus, attend and participate of the media professional sessions, tour the communications facilities in Old Main, the University Star, KTSW Radio as well as Alkek Library, the Wittliffe Collection and the Bobcat Studio, among others.
The Vidal M. Trevino School of Fine Arts and Communication magnet school has visited Texas State University from Laredo for the last 12 years bringing over 450 students. The Lyndon B. Johnson High School of the United ISD has also visited San Marcos with its students
The commitment of instructors, advisors, media professionals and faculty members who mentor the dedication and hard work of Hispanic students in Laredo, make the program a one-of-a-kind program as well as living proof of ‘the Hachar promise’ every day of the year.
Don Demetrio David Hachar once said, With education people do not need outside help; they can help themselves”.
Don Demetrio David Hachar, a Lebanese born immigrant who moved to Laredo and shared his business’ success with the community, made a promise to help finance young ‘Laredoans’ with their formal education. Upon his death a trust fund, a living legacy to his promise, was set in 1980 and has helped hundreds of Hispanic students from Laredo complete higher education and succeed.

D. Hachar Charitable Trust Fund
2200 Post Oak Blvd., 19th Fl.
Houston, TX United States 77056-4700
Telephone: (956) 764-2811
Fax: (956) 764-1592

Date Founded: Established in 1980 in Texas.

Purpose: Providing funding primarily for higher education, particularly scholarships to financially needy residents (of at least 3 years) of Laredo, Webb County, and surrounding counties in TX, who must maintain a GPA of 2.75. Students planning to attend a technical or vocational school will be considered on an individual basis as far as grade point average is concerned.

Type of Grant maker: Independent foundation.



Getting A Taste of the College Life

Last year, a group of eight parents accompanied the Laredo students from LBJ High School. A program was tailored to the parents with the help of the Center for Study of Latino Media and Markets, a part of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Parents explored services available to students on campus, including the Student Health Center and the library. They also discussed the barriers to college with Dr. Sindy Chapa of the Latino media center.

While the parents ate lunch and watched portions of a Spanish-language documentary about college, the students had pizza and listened to Hip Hop Congress, a student organization the inspires youth to get involved through social action and civic service.

Also visiting campus in years past was the Vidal M. Trevino School of Communications and Fine Arts. About 40 students from the Trevino school make the trip to Texas State each year as part of the D.D. Hachar program.