University Adds 33 New Students to Terry Scholars Program
Sept. 16, 2016
Of the 23 freshman Terry Scholars, four are National Merit Commended Scholars and two are salutatorians. One plays for the National Great Britain baseball team. Another translated a TED Talk from Russian to English to reach a broader audience.
The University of Texas at Dallas welcomed 33 new Terry Scholars this fall. The 23 freshmen — one of the largest and most competitive classes — are joined by 10 transfer scholarship recipients.
Overall, the 139 Terry Scholars enrolled at UT Dallas will receive combined awards of more than $3 million this year. Since 2006, the Terry Foundation has given $10 million to the University’s 240 scholars, a significant expansion from the original 11 scholarships awarded that first year.
The program at UT Dallas marked its first PhD graduate this year. Therri Usher BS’11, a 2007 Terry Scholar, graduated in June with a doctoral degree in biostatistics from Johns Hopkins University. She is a mathematical statistician with the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.
The Terry Foundation’s mission is to improve and develop the state of Texas by assisting Texas students to attend the state’s finest public universities. Over the years, the foundation has provided more than $170 million to help nearly 5,000 students across the state.
The Terry Scholars are selected for scholastic achievement, leadership and service. Of the freshman — 12 women and 11 men — four are National Merit Commended Scholars and two are salutatorians. One plays for the National Great Britain baseball team. Another translated a TED Talk from Russian to English to reach a broader audience.
The transfer-student scholars, whose average age is 28, have experiences that provide different perspectives for the traditional scholars. Among them is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force who volunteered with disaster teams in Florida after Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and in Oklahoma City after the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in 1995.
Blythe Torres, the program’s director, said the Terry scholarships cover a broad range of student expenses over four years of study, including tuition and fees, housing, books and living expenses. Additionally, the Terry Foundation provides funding over and above the scholarship to scholars who study abroad. Approved programs take place from two weeks to a semester, with financial support up to $15,000.
“The Terry Foundation’s financial commitment extends the opportunity of higher education to outstanding Texas students who would not otherwise be able to attend college without incurring large debt,” Torres said.
UT Dallas has enjoyed partnering with the Terry Foundation and serves as a model institution by including social and cultural as well as academic experiences for the scholars, she said.
“At UT Dallas, we ensure the Terry Scholars Program facilitates the scholars’ intellectual, cultural and personal growth outside of the classroom as well. Scholars participate in the Honors College events in the Dallas Arts District and in retreats, excursions and social gatherings,” Torres said.
The Terry Foundation, based in Houston and founded in 1986, also supports students attending UT Arlington, UT Austin, UT El Paso, UT San Antonio, Texas A&M University, the University of Houston, Texas State University, the University of North Texas, Texas Tech University, Texas Woman’s University, Sam Houston State University and Texas A&M University at Galveston.