Dallas Aggies Establish $100,000 Scholarship
The Dallas A&M Club, which has raised scholarship money for decades, has established a $100,000 Regents’ Scholarship to help high school seniors from Dallas County fund their Texas A&M education.
The Dallas A&M Club Regents’ Scholarship was set up under the Texas A&M Regents’ Scholars Program, which assists students whose parents do not hold college degrees and whose family income is less than $40,000 per year. These first-generation college students receive the scholarship for up to four years. Students’ extracurricular activities and academic achievements also are considered in determining who will receive the scholarship.
Dallas A&M Club President Holly Pritchard ’95 said this scholarship, established through the Texas A&M Foundation, appealed to the club because it could be paid in installments. Pritchard said the club’s ability to specify a preference for Dallas County high school seniors was another plus that made the program a good choice.
In addition to financial assistance, the Regents’ Scholars Program helps students with the academic and social aspects of college life. Recipients must live on campus their freshmen year, participate in a learning community and attend an orientation designed by continuing Regents’ Scholars.
Each year, about 600 entering freshmen receive Regents’ Scholarships and the program has a 90 percent retention rate, according to Texas A&M’s financial aid office. Nearly 2,000 Regents’ Scholars attend Texas A&M today.
The Regents’ Scholars Program was established in 2003 by former Texas A&M President Robert Gates and initially was funded through the university’s operating budget. In 2006, the Texas A&M Foundation began working with private donors to create endowed Regents’ Scholarships.
Because the new Regents’ Scholarships are endowed, they will support first-generation Aggies continually. An individual or a group can establish a Regents’ Scholarship with a gift of $100,000 that can be paid over a period of up to five years. Matching corporate gifts may be applied, and these scholarships can be created through planned gifts such as bequests, annuities and life insurance. The donor may name a Regents’ Scholarship in memory or honor of a person, class, a company or an organization, such as the Dallas A&M Club.
These scholarships, administered through Texas A&M’s financial aid office, are part of “Operation Spirit and Mind” a multi-year $300 million scholarship initiative currently under way at Texas A&M.
The Dallas A&M Club, established in 1902, holds annual fundraisers, such as a chili cook-off, crawfish boil and “coaches’ night,” to support the five – soon to be six – $5,000, two-year scholarships that it awards directly to Dallas-area students.
Any Aggie who lives in the Dallas area is automatically a member of the club and invited to participate in events, Pritchard says. She explains that the Dallas A&M Club, which meets once a month, is moving away from dues-based membership so Aggies can determine their own level of participation in the club’s social and fundraising activities.
“I became active in the Dallas A&M Club because I wanted to make friends,” Pritchard says. “But I am proud of the scholarships we give. I was a scholarship recipient when I attended A&M, and it really helped my family.”
In addition to the Dallas A&M Club, Lee ’95 and Lotfus Fitzwater III ’93, the Hygeia Foundation, and the Houston A&M Club have established endowed Regents’ Scholarships.
To learn more about the Regents’ Scholars Program, visit scholarships.tamu.edu and search for “regents.” To find out how to create an endowed Regents’ Scholarship, contact the Texas A&M Foundation at giving.tamu.edu.