In a show of support for The
University of Texas at Arlington, the independent UT Arlington Alumni
Association announces a major gift that will increase the University’s
endowment by more than $2 million.
The gift means that $1 million
previously held by the association for scholarship support will double in value
through the University’s Maverick
Match program, which uses natural gas royalties to encourage new endowment commitments
and greater philanthropic support.
“This is the ultimate expression
of support from the Alumni Association, and it couldn’t come at a better time,”
UT Arlington President James D. Spaniolo said. “It reflects the deep commitment
our alumni have to ensuring that their University ranks among the best in the
world in supporting our students.”
The nonprofit UT
Arlington Alumni Association dates to 1920 and has long focused on
connecting alumni with their alma mater, supporting current students and
enhancing students’ educational experience. The association encourages
membership at a variety of levels, ranging from annual members to lifetime
members who have made major commitments toward endowed funds that support
The association currently
supports 31 individual scholarships, many of which are awarded to promising freshmen
and sophomores with a goal of encouraging students to stay on track and earn
their undergraduate degrees, said Lora J. Malone, executive director for the UT
Arlington Alumni Association.
“This gift really signals that
members of our Alumni Association are aligned with the strategic mission of the
University,” Malone said. “The association is focused on serving the
institution and serving our students.”
Longtime Alumni Association
supporters Thomas Wall Simmons (BS ’72) and Linda Blackwell Simmons (BA ’77)
said the gift will strengthen key endowments, including the Simmons-Blackwell
Endowed Scholarship that they established in the 1980s.
The couple initially was moved
to create an endowed scholarship by friends and fellow UT Arlington supporters,
Mr. Simmons said. But it is the ongoing connection with students that has kept
the couple knitted to their alma mater, he said.
“Our scholar this year came by,
and she was so appreciative,” Mr. Simmons said. “I told her, ‘You are so
deserving,’ and she said, “I’m just a reflection of you.’ That was rewarding.”
Linda Simmons said such alumni
support can provide the margin of excellence for UT Arlington and its students.
“All great universities have
involved alumni and strong alumni associations,” she said.
UT Arlington leaders will celebrate the Alumni Association during the 46th
Annual Distinguished Alumni Gala on Saturday evening, Oct. 15, at the E.H.
Hereford University Center. Seven alumni will be honored with the award this
To join the UT Arlington Alumni
Association, please visit http://utaalumni.org/.
The University of Texas at
Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of 33,449 students in the
heart of North Texas. Visit www.uta.edu to
The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.