Students Inspire Scholarship Golf Tournament Participants
April 25 Event to Raise Money for Endowment Fund Valued at $400,000 and Growing
Mar. 13, 2013
UT Dallas sophomore Bruna Tavares hated her 30-minute commute to campus.
“Staying with my parents and commuting every day was so time-consuming. I was so far from all the action that I felt I was missing significant chunks of the college experience,” Tavares said.
Hank Wilke, of UT System’s Office of Facilities Planning and Construction, points out a shot to teammates (from left) Chris Jackson, Brian Flanagan and Jeff Sanders at last year's tournament.
A housing stipend has changed that for her. Tavares now lives in a residence hall on campus, thanks to the Academic Bridge Program, one of the beneficiaries of proceeds from UT Dallas’ Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament.
“Living in the Residence Hall has given me much more freedom and privacy,” Tavares said. “I’ve joined a sorority (Sigma Lambda Gamma), and my involvement on campus has increased. Without this scholarship, I would never have been able to live on campus.”
The golf tournament, set for Thursday, April 25, at Sherrill Park Golf Course, helps fund an endowment that aids three beneficiaries: the Betty and Gifford Johnson Graduate Scholarship, the Patti Henry-Pinch Undergraduate Scholarship and the Academic Bridge Program.
“Helping to raise money to improve the college experience for our students is the foundation for this effort, and the participants have a lot of fun in the process,” said Dr. Calvin D. Jamison, vice president for administration.
This year will mark the 20th time the University has hosted the tournament.
According to Paula Austell, director of endowment services, the endowment is valued today at just over $400,000.
The idea for the golf tournament came about as a way to forge ties between the University and the community, said Dr. Austin Cunningham, UT Dallas dean of graduate studies.
“It’s the kind of event that can change lives,” said Cunningham, who directs scholarship funding to graduate students.
Jill Foltz, a PhD candidate in aesthetic studies who hopes to graduate this spring, applied last fall for the graduate scholarship. She wants to use the graduate travel grant to participate in an art history conference in Minnesota.
“As a graduate student, it’s important to meet and share ideas with people in my field, but the expenses add up quickly. This helped me to afford the trip, where I was able to present my research,” she said.
Volunteers who help organize the event and garner community support say the effort and weeks of preparation are worth it once the tournament begins.
Richard Arduengo, a part-time staffer in the Office of Administration and scholarship golf tournament committee co-chair, said he’s always amazed by the results.
“We organize volunteers and work like crazy to put all the moving parts together. When the day arrives, we are ready and we are able to put on a great event,” he said.
Golfers can sign up individually or as part of a sponsored team at www.utdallas.edu/golf.
Non-golfers can also participate by sponsoring a hole or by directly contributing to the scholarship fund.
Check-in and lunch will start at 11:30 a.m. on the day of the tournament, and snacks will be available throughout the day. Tee time is 1 p.m. Awards will be given for first-, second- and last-place finishes, and all participants will be eligible for special drawings at the awards ceremony.
The cost is $150 per player, which includes green fees, golf cart, prizes, lunch and a light dinner. The deadline to enter is April 14. Participation is limited to the first 150 registrants.
“We want more people investing in the mission of the tournament, so our goal will be to involve more sponsors, increase the amount for scholarships, enhance the quality of our prizes and make sure that it is an extraordinary experience for all who participate,” Jamison said.
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