The UTPA Foundation has always made scholarship fundraising a priority, and this has never been more important. With diminishing state support for public universities in Texas, more of the burden to support the cost of a college degree is falling to the students and their parents. With most of UT Pan American’s more than19,000 students requiring some type of financial aid, the support of the Foundation and its donor partners is essential to help them continue toward their degrees.
Scholarship gifts to the UTPA Foundation can come in one of two ways – as an annual gift that will be awarded in its entirety or as an endowment fund, with the entire gift being invested to produce ongoing distributions. Endowing a scholarship assures that the scholarship will exist in perpetuity.
The minimum gift to establish a scholarship endowment is $10,000, and the donor may designate the purpose of the gift to a specific academic program or purpose. Certain other restrictions may also be established by the donor; however, it is important that the University Development staff be involved in the preparation of the endowed agreement to ensure that federal and state guidelines are met.
The first scholarships are awarded one year after the endowment is fully funded. During this “grace” period, earnings are accumulating, thus ensuring that an appropriate amount is available for distribution. Should the donor want the scholarship to be activated sooner, he or she may choose to make a separate gift equivalent to the desired award, which is then distributed to a qualifying recipient for the semester immediately following the donor’s contribution. In the meantime, the endowed corpus is accumulating earnings for an award one year hence.
For the last three decades, The University of Texas-Pan American Foundation has raised and stewarded “make a difference” funding to provide the University the flexibility to address its greatest needs and take advantage of special opportunities. The Foundation Board is proud to be a part of the excitement that is UT Pan American, and we look forward to many more decades of service to the University.
Jaime Ramon, Chairman