EL PASO, Texas — UTEP’s Studio Theatre was renamed the June Sadowski Kruszewski Studio Theatre in honor of a professor’s late wife after a generous gift allowed for much-needed renovations at the space.
For more than half a century, Z. Anthony “Tony” Kruszewski, UTEP professor emeritus of political science, has been a patron for progress, devoting his many years in academia to bringing higher standards of education to the student populations of the Southwest border region of Texas, New Mexico and Mexico. During his tenure, he also traveled and gave lectures abroad, including in his home country of Poland. An icon at UTEP, Kruszewski received various awards and recognitions as a scholar and international activist.
Outside the political science arena, Kruszewski and his beloved wife, June, shared a passion for theater and dance. Having a theater named in her honor is very symbolic for Kruszewski, particularly since the first gift he established in her name was the June Sadowski Kruszewski Theatre Arts Excellence Endowment, which he gave in honor of the couple’s 50th wedding anniversary and in celebration of June’s work in the Polish Repertory Theater (Nasza Reduta) in Chicago.
“Tony Kruszewski is the true embodiment of the mission of this University, and we are deeply grateful for his more than half a century of enduring support – in the classroom and through his many gifts to UTEP,” said Jake Logan, UTEP vice president for institutional advancement. “We are deeply honored to share in this tribute to his late wife, whose memory will live on through each and every performance in the June Sadowski Kruszewski Studio Theatre.”
June Sadowski-Kruszewski was honored both as an actress and teacher of Spanish with the establishment of the June Sadowski Kruszewski Theatre Arts Excellence Endowment in 2009. Shortly after his wife’s death, Tony Kruszewski established the June M. Kruszewski Memorial Endowed Scholarship in July 2015. The decision to name the June Sadowski Kruszewski Studio Theatre commemorates her legacy and ensures her memory will endure through student performances for generations to come.
Kruszewski’s recent gift is another in a long list of endowments that he and his wife created to support student success at the University, most of which are named in honor of family from the couple’s home country of Poland. Among them is the Kruszewski Family Endowment for Student Enhancement, the Kruszewski Family Endowed Professorship in Political Science, the Irena Grabowska Kruszewska Memorial Endowed Scholarship, June M. Kruszewski Memorial Endowed Scholarship, Mary Misiewicz Sadowski Memorial Endowed Scholarship, and the Antoni Grabowski Endowed Memorial Fellowship in the Department of Linguistics.