Humberto (Bert) S. Lopez Receives Honorary PhD From University of Arizona

May 24, 2024
Bert Lopez

Humberto (Bert) S. Lopez ’69 BSBA (Accounting) has recently received an honorary PhD in Humane Letters by the University of Arizona. 

Just six years after graduating from the university, Lopez co-founded HSL Properties, which today is one of Arizona's largest owner-operated apartment and hotel property management companies. In 2004, he and his wife, Czarina, created the H.S. Lopez Family Foundation to facilitate their philanthropic efforts. 

Bert Lopez

The Lopez family has contributed millions to the University of Arizona, supporting a variety of initiatives and endowed faculty positions in Eller and across the university. The family established the Endowed Chair for Excellence in Cardiovascular Research at the Sarver Heart Center in the College of Medicine – Tucson, as well as a dean's position in the college. The family also established the Dhaliwal-HSLopez Chair in Eller's HSLopez School of Business Analytics, to which they also donated $9 million. 

The H.S. Lopez Family Foundation launched a partnership with the Gospel Rescue Mission in 2018 to develop the Center of Opportunity, a one-stop location that provides refuge and resources for Tucsonans journeying out of homelessness and into self-sufficiency. 

While Lopez's contributions to the Tucson community and the state of Arizona are immeasurable, his dedication to improving his community comes from humble beginnings. The son of a rancher living in Ciudad Obregón, Sonora, in northern Mexico, Lopez lived a relatively comfortable life until his father unexpectedly passed away in 1957, leaving Lopez, his mother and five other siblings to pick up the pieces. Lopez was 11 years old. 

The family moved to Nogales, Arizona, and Lopez worked odd jobs around town to help the family stay afloat. He would go on to enroll at Cochise College before attending the University of Arizona, where he graduated in 1969 with a bachelor's degree in accounting.

Lopez has long been recognized for his contributions to Southern Arizona and the Tucson community. He was named the Southern Arizona Chamber of Commerce's Man of the Year in 2006 and received the University of Arizona's Hispanic Man of the Year award the following year. He was also named the Eller College of Management's Alumnus of the Year in 2022, and has received numerous honors from the University of Arizona Foundation, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the City of Tucson and other government institutions. 

Lopez's former appointments at the University of Arizona include the chairmanship of the board of advisors of the Sarver Heart Center and the chairmanship of the University of Arizona Foundation. He is a member of the board of advisors for the Eller College and the Dhaliwal-Reidy School of Accountancy, as well as the University of Arizona President's Club. He has also served as a board member and chairperson for many nonprofit and governmental organizations throughout Tucson and has served as on a number of public boards including Pinnacle West, owner of Arizona Public Services, the largest utility in Arizona and owner operator of the Palo Verde Nuclear Plant.

A version of this article originally appeared