Ten by Ten Donor Profile: René Monteverde

June 24, 2011

For René Monteverde, loving the University of Arizona is a family tradition. Growing up, he attended Wildcat football and basketball games with his dad, Humberto Monteverde ’63.

After researching the university’s business school, Monteverde decided to attend the UA. Then, after graduating, he began running his family’s business in Nogales.

“The UA gave me the foundation, knowledge, and experience needed to run my family’s produce business and keep it successful, year after year,” says the 32-year-old businessperson who is similar to his father in another fundamental way: He is a donor to the UA, supporting basketball, football, cheerleading, and more.

“I’m a firm believer in the principle of simply giving,” Monteverde says. “I believe all forms of giving can make a positive impact in other people’s lives.”

Monteverde is ambitious in everything he does. As a student, he challenged himself with three majors, all in business. He joined fraternity Pi Kappa Alpha as a freshman — “a great way to feel part of the university” — and today credits the organization with reinforcing his philanthropic values. Now he volunteers with the Pi Kappa Alpha Alumni Advisory Board, acting as a mentor to active fraternity members on the UA campus “during their maturation into the ‘real world.’”

Intercollegiate Athletics also is a huge part of Monteverde’s UA philanthropy and campus involvement: “By giving back, my hopes are that Arizona Athletics continues competing at the highest levels against all other top universities,” he says.

His fandom is tangible — he hosts tailgate parties before every football game. “He’s a rabid Arizona fan,” agrees friend and fraternity brother, Dan Berger ’02, adding, “It seems like his tailgating gets bigger and better every year.”

But Monteverde’s heart may belong to UA basketball. Even though he has attended all of the UA men’s basketball trips to the Final Four in the NCAA Tournament, one trip surpasses them all. In 2001, he attended the Sweet 16 tournament in San Antonio, and there he met his wife-to-be, Julia Jordan, a former UA cheerleader who graduated in 2002.

“It was exciting to watch Arizona beat Illinois to make it to the Final Four,” he recalls, “but the most memorable part of the trip was meeting my future wife.”