Jindal School Alumnae Invest in Future with New Student Scholarships
Jan. 11, 2017
Saadia Sheikh BS’09, vice president for E Smith Realty Partners, established the Saadia Sheikh Scholarship/Fellowship for Entrepreneurship to inspire future generations of UT Dallas entrepreneurs.
For three Naveen Jindal School of Management alumnae, giving back to the institution that put them on their path to success is not only a source of pride but the right thing to do to build an educational legacy.
Saadia Sheikh BS’09, vice president for E Smith Realty Partners, established the Saadia Sheikh Scholarship/Fellowship for Entrepreneurship to inspire future generations of UT Dallas entrepreneurs. Gigi Edwards Bryant MBA'02, founder and president of GMSA Management, created the the Gigi Edwards Bryant Champions Scholarship to support children in the foster care system. Judy Hendrick MS’86, chief financial officer for Aimbridge Hospitality, established the Hazel Elise Rogers Scholarship/Fellowship for Finance to honor her mother and enable others to achieve the dream of higher education.
For Sheikh, success and philanthropy go hand in hand.
“I truly believe philanthropy comes from the good intentions and good will to serve others,” she said. “It is important to have the balance of philanthropy in your life with the natural human instinct to win and be successful. We are all only as successful as the community and environment around us.”
Giving back is not an option but a requirement for Hendrick, who also views it as the greatest privilege.
“What could be more rewarding than to see that you can help someone gain an education who might not be able to otherwise?” she said. “And then that person can perpetuate that philosophy and help others.”
UT Dallas provides need and merit-based scholarships for undergraduates and fellowships for graduate students. With a gift of $25,000 or more, donors may establish a scholarship or fellowship with specific criteria for recipients, such as academic merit, financial need, major or course of study, community service and campus involvement.
Funding the Entrepreneurial Spirit
Sheikh represents tenants and users of commercial space nationally in all transactions from renewals, expansions, site selection, general consultation and purchases. She credits the Jindal School with teaching her the many lessons that she continues to use today.
“One lesson that I have applied to my career is focusing on accomplishing my goal,” she said. “I have achieved many milestones in my career by having a clear, concise plan.”
Inspired by her former mentor, Debi Carter BS’93, who created an endowment at the Jindal School, Sheikh decided to do the same and established the Saadia Sheikh Scholarship/Fellowship for Entrepreneurship. This is the first endowed scholarship/fellowship for undergraduate or graduate students studying entrepreneurship.
“I wanted to give back to the University that gave so much to me and inspire other students to be entrepreneurial, which is a major factor in real estate,” she said.
Fostering Compassion in Others
Gigi Edwards Bryant MBA'02
The Gigi Edwards Bryant Champions Scholarship will be awarded to undergraduate or graduate students who have previously been in foster care and/or have made a positive impact on the lives of children in the foster care system through volunteerism or advocacy.
“Education can and will change the mindset and the dynamics, if not for the past, then certainly for the future,” Bryant said. “It did it for me, and I was thrilled to find out that this was the first of its kind for UT Dallas.”
Bryant believes that philanthropy and compassion are synonymous.
“I taught my children to be kind and caring, and embracing giving as a way of life became a family practice,” she said. “Philanthropy is equally important to women and men because we participate from all different interests, communities and beliefs. The key is concentrating on the efforts of your time, talents and treasures in order to do the most good.”
Financing the Gift of Education
The graduate degree in finance that Hendrick earned at UT Dallas directly impacted her career.
Judy Hendrick MS'86
“My undergraduate degree is in psychology from Kansas State University, but I could not afford to continue going to school full time, so I accepted a position with Chase Manhattan’s loan office in Dallas in office administration and contract administration,” Hendrick said. “I soon realized that it would be helpful if I had more understanding of financial statements, and by taking classes at night for several years, I was able to earn my master’s degree and advance my career further than I ever thought possible.”
Hendrick decided to help others do the same by establishing the Hazel Elise Rogers Scholarship/Fellowship for Finance, the first endowed scholarship/fellowship in finance, in honor of her mother.
“My mother has always inspired me to pursue education and a rewarding career,” Hendrick said. “I feel like it is my way of showing her how much that means to me by establishing this scholarship in her name.”