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New class of Terry Scholars raises number of UTA students in prestigious program to 33

Monday, August 22, 2016 • Media Contact: Bridget Lewis

The University of Texas at Arlington this fall welcomes its second class of Terry Foundation scholarship recipients. The prestigious award is given to students who have displayed great academic and leadership potential, among other attributes.

Members of the 2016-17 Terry Scholars class joined the inaugural Terry Scholars for a meet and greet Sunday, Aug. 21 at the E. H. Hereford University Center.

Of the 167 new Terry Foundation scholarship awardees this year, 13 are entering UTA.

“We are pleased to partner with an institution so widely respected for excellence and student success,” said Yvonne Moody, executive director for the Terry Foundation, an organization that provides students with four-year scholarships covering the full cost of tuition, fees, books, and on-campus living expenses.

The Terry Foundation was established by Houston philanthropists Howard and Nancy Terry, and it is the largest private source of scholarships in Texas.

William Gunn, director of programs at University College, said that considering UTA’s focus on dedicated student support, joining the Terry program was a foregone conclusion. At UTA, the cost of a four-year undergraduate degree, including housing, books and supplies, and cost of living, will roughly total $96,000. The Terry Scholars won’t have to worry about a single cent. Another area of financial support comes in a stipend for study abroad expenses.

“This is an opportunity for UTA to provide interested students with educational experiences they otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford,” Gunn said. “The additional level of support these students receive, which extends well beyond graduation, means our Terry Scholars will have every opportunity for success.”

The 2016-17 scholarship recipients, their hometowns and intended majors are:

  • Jeanne Bandelaria, Allen, psychology.
  • Vivian Dang, Arlington, nursing.
  • Garrett Davidson, Waxahachie, biology/pre-med.
  • Luis Flores, San Juan, computer engineering.
  • Boyu Han, New Caney, nursing.
  • Bailey Jones, Burleson, English.
  • Theodore Mays, Arlington, computer engineering.
  • Gunnar Patterson, Normangee, nursing.
  • Sarah Pavlik, Flower Mound, business.
  • Dani Quaye, Kennedale, biology.
  • Elizabeth Thari, North Richland Hills, nursing.
  • Dakotah Van Huss, Waxahachie, civil engineering.
  • Jose Vega, Fort Worth, architecture.

In addition to completing an application, each student writes an essay detailing their academic and personal journey to date, and submits transcripts from all post-secondary institutions. Letters of recommendation are optional. Following the conclusion of each cycle of interviews, the Foundation sends offer letters to selected nominees, and status letters to candidates who will not receive a scholarship offer.

“Waiting for that email to load was one of the most nerve-wracking moments of my life,” said Angela Creevey, a UTA nursing major and member of the inaugural Terry class. “I peeked my eyes open and faintly saw ‘Congratulations,’ and I almost screamed.”

Creevey is just one of 20 students in UTA’s inaugural class of Terry scholars. The first cohort lived in Vandergriff Hall and said they really felt a sense of family and community that strengthened their relationships and resolve to succeed.  

Members of UTA's inaugural class of Terry Foundation Scholars participated in a volleyball match at Southfork Ranch. The summer 2016 picnic for UTA scholars was hosted by the Terry Foundation.

“In addition to sharing the same residence hall, group bonding is developed through monthly events just for the Terrys,” Gunn said. “The first cohort planned social hangouts, volunteer opportunities, study sessions, fundraising activities, and traditions that will set the tone for future generations of Terry Scholars at UTA.”   

Myra Zimmerman, an administrative assistant at the UTA Career Development Center, is a Terry alumna from Texas State University. While she agrees that “opportunity” is a key word for describing the Terry Scholars program, she’d also add another word: joy.

“Every university that the Terry Foundation touches shares in a Terry Scholar’s joy,” she says. “Joy in an education without the burden of financial stress. Joy in a possibility that might not have been available otherwise. Joy in a group of students who are unified and grateful for this wonderful opportunity.”

She noted that such joy can have a transformative effect that echoes well beyond the UTA campus.

For more information about how to apply for the Terry Foundation Scholar Program at UTA, visit or email

About the Terry Foundation  

The Terry Foundation is a Houston-based scholarship program founded to provide scholarships to outstanding Texas high school graduates and transfer scholars for attendance at public colleges and universities within the state. Established in 1986 by Houston philanthropists Howard and Nancy Terry, the Foundation has assisted thousands of Terry Scholars in meeting the Founders’ goal of helping Texas college students to help themselves.

About The University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a Carnegie Research-1 “highest research activity” institution of about 55,000 students in campus-based and online degree programs and is the second-largest institution in The University of Texas System. U.S. News & World Report ranks UTA fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. The University is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is ranked as the top four-year college in Texas for veterans on Military Times’ 2016 Best for Vets list. Visit to learn more, and find UTA rankings and recognition at

For more on the UTA Strategic Plan 2020: Bold Solutions | Global Impact, see