Published: February 13, 2018
Every year, donors who have established scholarships at UT are invited to campus to meet the students who are benefitting from their generosity. More than 200 scholarship recipients, donors and UT faculty and staff attended this year’s Scholarship Luncheon, held on Feb. 2 in the Vaughn Center Crescent Club.
The event opened with a reception in the Trustees Board Room, offering time for donors to interact with student scholarship recipients. The festivities then moved across the hall to the Crescent Club for lunch.
Yvette Segura, vice president and general manager of USAA and a member of UT’s board of trustees, said she appreciated the opportunity to extend a helping hand and encouraged students to help make their community better by “sharing your time, your talent and, after graduation, some of your treasure, too.”
Angela Vanderkarr ’19 shared how she initially thought schools like UT were not in her budget, but scholarship support paid the difference in her tuition, allowing her to enroll in the University’s top-ranked nursing program.
Vanderkarr is also the recipient of the Axel and Ann Claesges Study Abroad Award, which enabled her to travel with 24 fellow nursing students to Costa Rica to offer community health and disease prevention services, and also compare the U.S. and Costa Rican health care systems.
“Thank you to families whose donations help broaden students’ horizons,” she said. “Thank you for your friendship, dedication and generosity that allows students to create, explore and have an adventure.”
Lorie Kittendorf, UT’s director of student transition and persistence in UT’s Academic Success Center, gave an overview of the Success Scholars Program, which began with the help of the Helios Education Foundation in 2011. The program offers support for first-generation and/or underrepresented students at UT, including peer mentoring, academic coaching, on-campus employment opportunities, textbook support and funding for participation in Alternative Breaks trips.
Kittendorf likened UT to a roomful of doors that each lead to different experiences.
“We don’t want finances to be one of those things that keep students from walking through that door,” she said. “One of those doors might lead to a pivotal experience in their life. Thank you for all you do and for supporting UT.”
Both UT President Ronald L. Vaughn and Provost David Stern thanked donors for their example, which might inspire others.
“Through donor support, students are prepared for the journey of a lifetime,” Stern said.