Academic Bridge Honors a Key Supporter in Austin

Program Staff and Students Hold a Luncheon to Thanks Legislator for Her Help

Dec. 8, 2009

State Rep. Helen Giddings has done so much for the Academic Bridge Program that students and staff figured the least they could do was take her to lunch.

That’s just what they did last month when they invited the Dallas legislator to campus.

A luncheon held in her honor was a way to thank Giddings for her work for the past 10 years to secure state funding for the program.  Giddings secured the first state appropriation for the Academic Bridge Program in 1999.  Since that time, Giddings has worked successfully to ensure that funding for the program stays in the budget.   

During this past Session that ended in June, Giddings was able to increase state funding to the program by $462,500 for the 2010-2011 biennium.  Given the tight budget constraints during this past Session, Giddings efforts are to be commended.

 “Representative Giddings has been a great inspiration to all of our students and is a role model for commitment to our community,” said Dr. George Fair, dean of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies.

Several students and alumni spoke at the luncheon, regaling Rep. Giddings with stories from their time with the program. Rep. Giddings thanked the students for their hard work.

Amanda Rockow, Vice President for Public Affairs, helped to coordinate the visit.  She commented, “Representative Giddings has been a champion for UT Dallas for a long time.  Her role on the Appropriations Committee over the years has been very important for the development of this University.  We just can’t thank her enough for her support.”

The Academic Bridge Program seeks to attract, support, and retain students who graduate from Dallas-area urban high schools with high class rankings without having completed the full university-track curriculum.

The program is offered to select entering freshmen and gives students the opportunity to begin their university educations immediately after high school graduation. UT Dallas believes strongly in the capabilities of these students and fosters the Bridge Program as a supportive introductory environment for those who choose to attend.

The School of Interdisciplinary Studies will hold its 8th Biennial Partners Recognition Dinner on Feb. 22.


Media Contact: Taylor Buttler, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu

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Helend Giddings meets with a student

Above: State Rep. Helen Giddings talks with senior Jeremy Perez at a luncheon in her honor.

Below: Giddings confers with other Academic Bridge students.

Helen Giddings confers with two students

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April 24, 2014