Terry Foundation Expands Scholarship Program at UT Dallas
Texas Philanthropy Plans to Provide More Than $1 Million to University’s Students This Fall
Jan. 25, 2012
The Houston-based Terry Foundation is funding up to five additional student scholars at UT Dallas this fall in a nod to the success and growth of the Terry Scholars Program at the University over the last six years.
In total, the foundation will provide more than $1 million for scholarships this fall.
The increase to 21 students — up from 16 — was approved by the foundation late last fall. The program aids Texas high school graduates who demonstrate a strong record of academic achievement, exhibit leadership, have a track record of volunteerism and meet certain income standards as represented by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as FAFSA.
The Terry Scholars program at UT Dallas includes about 60 current students. The Terry Foundation is the largest provider of private scholarships in the state, awarding more than $100 million to 2,500-plus collegians.
Since 2006, 83 UT Dallas students have been named Terry Scholars. They have received nearly $3.5 million from the foundation, enabling them to graduate without debt.
“Receiving the Terry Scholarship has allowed me to concentrate full time on my academic and volunteer interests without the added stress of worrying about how to pay for everything,” said Natasha Gupta, a junior neuroscience major. “This generosity from Mr. and Mrs. Terry is more than just a scholarship. The Terry Program has provided me with great friends, resources and mentors. It’s humbling to know that someone cares enough about my future to invest in it.”
Blythe Torres, director of the Terry Scholars Program at the University, said she is especially pleased with the program’s impact on campus diversity, an important part of the University’s strategic plan.
“Twenty-four percent of our program is made up of minorities,” she said. “Through active engagement in the classroom and involvement in student activities and organizations, the scholars have helped to promote a campus culture of openness and understanding, and that makes me very proud.”
Torres said the scholars also have contributed through their involvement in a wide range of student organizations and activities, and assistance to surrounding communities.
In particular, two scholars have shown great dedication to service, including Derek Nguyen, a junior biochemistry major. He earned the President’s Volunteer Service Gold Award with 601 hours of service. Alysha Neal, a 2011 graduate, completed more than 1,000 hours of service while at the University.
“Service is very important because it gives us the unique opportunity to give someone else a renewed chance at life, whether it be a new home, a hot meal, or just the strength to get through the next day,” Nguyen said. “As Terry Scholars, Mr. Terry graciously bestowed on us a tremendous gift—a chance to obtain a college degree.”
A full range of majors are represented among the scholars, with the majority graduating with degrees from the schools of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Natural Sciences and Mathematics and the Naveen Jindal School of Management.
The scholars have consistently met high academic standards. Eight graduated with honors, including Summa Cum Laude (four), Magna Cum Laude (two) and Cum Laude (two).
Fifty percent graduated with degrees in science, technology, engineering or math. Of the 20 UT Dallas graduates of the program, three are in medical school and 10 went on to graduate school. The others are working in their chosen fields.
The Terry Foundation is the largest provider of private scholarships in the state, awarding more than $100 million to 2,500-plus collegians. Philanthropists Howard and Nancy Terry established the foundation in 1986. Scholarships are awarded at UT Austin, Texas A&M University, the University of Houston, Texas State University, UT San Antonio, the University of North Texas and Texas Tech University.
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