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Annual Endowment Scholarship Dinner Brings Together Donors and Recipients

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – SEPTEMBER 14, 2011 – Javier F. Aguilar says he feels blessed to be a scholarship recipient.

Aguilar is working on his Bachelor of Applied Technology in Workforce Leadership and Training. He said scholarships have allowed him to support a family of four while pursuing his bachelor’s degree.

Annual Endowment Scholarship Dinner Brings Together Donors and Recipients Javier Aguilar shared his story at the Endowed Scholarship Dinner in the Student Union Gran Salón.

“I am blessed by receiving this financial assistance, allowing me to take additional classes when my family budget allows for only one class per semester,” said Aguilar, a Brownsville Independent School District employee.

Students such as Aguilar met with endowment donors at a dinner in the Student Union Gran Salón Tuesday, Sept. 13.

During the dinner, Dr. Juliet V. García, President of The University of Texas at Brownsville, shared she was a scholarship recipient when she was a young married graduate student with two children. She said that financial support helped her and her husband manage what would otherwise have been an impossible financial situation.

“We all remember a time in our life when we needed a helping hand,” García said. “The donors in this room tonight did not just wake up one day to discover that they had been appointed a bank president, a business owner or university professor. Many here received a helping hand along the way – that’s what philanthropy is all about.”

Sandra Sweeney Wilson, who came from Austin to attend the dinner, told the story of her mother, Eloise Sweeney, and six of her friends who helped establish the Lower Rio Grande Valley Nursing Scholarship Fund in 1989.

“My mother encountered a young nursing student who was unable to continue her studies due to financial hardship on her family,” Wilson said. “Mother invited some of her friends over to tea to discuss the needs of this student and others in the community, and that is how the scholarship was born.”

Several of the original group of ladies who were able to attend received applause as Wilson asked them to stand for recognition.

President and CEO of Keppel AmFELS G.S. Tan spoke about growing up in a poor family in Singapore.

“I was fortunate to receive scholarships throughout my schooling to achieve a university degree and become an engineer,” Tan said. “Even though I dreamed of becoming an engineer, never could I have imagined achieving a position such as I now have with Keppel AmFELS. I repeat an old Korean proverb that says to never let lack of finances give you an excuse to stop working toward your goal.”

Tan presented García with a check for $25,000 from Keppel AmFELS LLC to create the Keppel AmFELS LLC Scholarship Endowment. This is in addition to two other already existing Keppel AmFELS scholarship endowments.

Since UTB was established 20 years ago, 995 scholarships have been awarded to students. Today, 107 endowments have been established totaling $8.86 million.

For more information about giving or to establish an endowment, contact the Office of Development at 956-882-4324For an opportunity to contribute online, please visit the impact of giving page.


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