Endowed Scholarship Banquet Honors Donors Who Make Islander Dreams Possible

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – At the 2019 Endowed Scholarship Banquet, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi honored donors whose generosity supports the students of today and tomorrow. The banquet, held Nov. 12, invited students to meet with their donors to celebrate the impact of endowed scholarships. Endowments, unlike annual scholarship donations, are gifts to the University that are invested to provide support in perpetuity. Often, these gifts are made in memory of a loved one or to honor an individual, organization, or business.

The event’s keynote speaker, Dr. Frances Ufkes ’15, is a graduate from the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Department of Spanish, and together with her husband Lacy Daniels created the Joan Aleshire Ufkes Endowed Scholarship in Spanish and the Ufkes Excellence Fund. Giving the keynote address in both Spanish and English, Ufkes conveyed her passion for learning a new language and expressed how this exposure to new language and culture has enriched her life.

“It is my desire that this year’s recipient of the award in my mother’s honor, Rocio Chavez, recognizes her worth as a scholar and as a human being,” Ufkes said to this year’s scholarship recipients. “I hope she and all of you receiving awards value your own achievements and live fearlessly by reaching high and knowing that success is something that comes from within and not from the appraisal of others.”

Attendees also heard from Zachary Sawyer, an animal biology major, and Sarina Garcia, a computer science major, who shared how significantly scholarships have impacted their education at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. At his small, childhood farm, first-generation college student Zachary Sawyer developed the love for animals that set him on the path to veterinary school. During his time in high school and in college, Zachary received enough scholarship funds to cover roughly 80% of his tuition.

“Because of my scholarships, I will be able to graduate this spring free of debt,” said Sawyer. “To my donor, thank you for helping me create a career and a life where I can make a difference not just for the animals in my care, but for the people who love them.”

Garcia applied to seven different colleges and was accepted to all of them. However, A&M-Corpus Christi was the only school that invested in her education through the offer of a scholarship. During her time at the Island University, Garcia has served as chairperson of the Spirit and Traditions Committee, which instated the inaugural “Bluesday Tuesday.” She currently serves as president of the Student Government Association (SGA) and will graduate in December 2020.

“Without the scholarship I received, it wouldn’t have been possible to serve on committees, hold positions within the SGA, and excel in the classroom,” Garcia said. “It’s taught me that there are no boundaries to the things I can accomplish, both professionally and personally.”

Thanks to donations from multiple charitable individuals and organizations, the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Foundation currently manages a $47 million endowment portfolio. During the banquet, donors were added to the Endowed Scholarship Council, which features five different levels based on cumulative giving: platinum wave, gold wave, silver wave, green wave, and blue wave.

Platinum Wave Level ($500,000 or more)

  • C. J. Davidson Scholarship Fund
  • Robert and Gloria Furgason Endowment

Gold Wave Level ($250,000 - $499,999)

  • Celika Storm Endowed Scholarship in Business
  • Celika Storm Endowed Scholarship in Nursing
  • Dr. Miriam Wagenschein Arts & Humanities Endowment

Silver Wave Level ($150,000 - $249,999)

  • Crutchfield Scholars Endowment
  • Darryl Haas Endowed Scholarship in Engineering
  • Ed Hicks Endowed Scholarship in Business
  • The Island University Scholarship Endowment
  • Marty R. Pritchett Memorial Scholarship Endowment

Green Wave Level ($100,000 - $149,999)

  • Behmann Brothers Foundation Endowed Scholarship
  • Evening Post Publishing Company – KRIS TV Scholarship Endowment
  • Dorothy B. Goodman Endowed Scholarship in Early Childhood Education
  • Islander Forever Endowed Scholarship
  • Patty and Joseph P. Mueller Endowed Scholarship
  • Bernard and Joan Paulson Scholarship Endowment
  • Student Foundation Leadership Scholarship Endowment
  • Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Foundation General Scholarship Endowment
  • Ben F. Vaughan, Jr. Art Scholarship
  • C. J. Watson Memorial Scholarship Fund

Blue Wave Level ($50,000 - $99,999)

  • Mervat M. Abdelsamad Memorial Endowed Scholarship in Business
  • Braselton Homes Endowed Scholarship in Entrepreneurship
  • Kathy Ann and Donald R. Deis Endowed Scholarship in Athletics
  • Erin Caroline Donalson Memorial Endowed Scholarship
  • Genevieve Tarlton Dougherty Scholarship Endowment
  • Exxon Endowed Scholarship Fund
  • Kayla Hewitt Memorial Scholarship
  • Jace C. Hoffman Memorial Scholarship
  • International Bank of Commerce Endowed Scholarship in Engineering
  • Lucy B. More Endowed Scholarship Fund
  • Nueces County Medical Society and Alliance Centennial Scholarship Endowment
  • Texas State Aquarium Endowed Scholarship in Biodiversity and Conservation Science in memory of Dr. Wes Tunnell
  • Dr. Ray Whitmire Endowed Scholarship in Finance
  • Knox and Bette Williams Endowed Scholarship in Athletics
  • The Judge Allen Wood Scholarship