REUBEN CARRANZA ’90, a native Tucsonan, grew up watching his dad play guitar and listening to mariachi music. He taught himself to play and later joined a mariachi group.
“I learned the guitar and violin by ear but learned to read music in band playing the trumpet,” he says. “It taught me how to carry myself in front of an audience, how to speak publicly, how to read a room and hold attention.”
At the University of Arizona, he became student body president, and he went on to a successful career in the beauty business, including 23 years at Procter & Gamble. He is now group CEO for amika, Eva NYC and Ethique.
Carranza and his husband, Jim Hoffbauer, who grew up appreciating opera and the visual arts, share a love of the arts. They are also first-generation college graduates who believe in supporting both the arts and underrepresented students.
“We believe that art and music are universal languages — an education isn’t complete without access to the arts. It opens minds,” the couple says.
That’s why they made a gift to the Dean’s Fund for Excellence in the College of Fine Arts to support students through both the JustArts Fellowships, an Arizona Arts equity initiative, and the Medici Scholars program. “Equity enables access and learning,” Carranza says. “These are guiding principles for us, so we love it.”