new, $1 million endowment established through a Fort Worth couple’s gift will
provide scholarships to sophomores who excel academically and who are the first
in their families to attend college.
Shirlee and Taylor Gandy
Shirlee J. and Taylor Gandy First Generation Scholarship Program will benefit UT
Arlington sophomores on the basis of merit and financial need. The endowment is
being established through a $500,000 commitment from the Gandys that will
double in value through the Maverick Match program, which leverages the University’s
natural gas royalties to encourage new philanthropic commitments.
Gandy, president of RPM Commercial in Fort Worth, earned her bachelor’s degree
in political science from UT Arlington in 1970 and serves in a leadership role on
the University’s Development Board.
has specialized in historic preservation of commercial property, including the
Ashton Hotel, the historic Santa Fe Depot and the Santa Fe Freight Building –
now home of the UT Arlington Fort Worth Center.
Gandy has been an owner and investor in commercial real estate in Fort Worth as
a partner in Baron Investments and Ron Investments for the past 20 years. He
practiced law in Fort Worth for 30 years prior to that. He has been active at
Texas Wesleyan University and former chairman of Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. The
couple recently led the campaign to establish the JFK Tribute in downtown Fort
Gandy said she and her husband were moved to create the new scholarship because
of their strong belief in UT Arlington’s academic mission.
was the first in my family to graduate college, and at the time I did not
realize the tremendous impact it would forever have on my life,” Shirlee Gandy
said. “In my opinion, education changes lives, builds confidence and develops individuals
with strong critical thinking skills. We wanted to make this financial
commitment to help first generation students achieve their goals.”
half of UT Arlington students say they are the first in their family to attend
college, and about two-thirds of undergraduates receive financial aid to help
pay for their college education.
years, the University has increased academic advising, tutoring and counseling
services to serve such students, establishing University College as a one-stop
resource center to help students achieve their college education.
Arlington President James D. Spaniolo said the Gandys have been among the
strongest supporters of the University’s mission toward academic and research
“Shirlee and Taylor are committed to making
sure our students are prepared for success,” said Spaniolo. “They are creating
a legacy that will extend opportunity to generations to come and reward
students who work hard and push for academic excellence.”
The University of Texas
at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution in the heart of North
Texas with more than 33,200 students. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more.
The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.