For immediate release
Jon Senderling, UTD
First Group of Eugene McDermott Scholars
Expected To Enhance UTD’s Burgeoning National Reputation
Texas (April 30, 2001) Formally launching a program made possible by
a $32-million gift by the widow of one the co-founders of Texas
Instruments and modeled after the prestigious Morehead Scholars program
at the University of North Carolina, The University of Texas at Dallas
(UTD) today announced its first class of Eugene McDermott Scholars
20 young men and women with exceptional records of accomplishment,
dramatically diverse interests and significant leadership potential.
McDermott Scholars, the 12 men and eight women selected will have all of
their educational expenses including travel, participation in
innovative special programs and room, board and supplies covered for
the next four years. The
students, 17 of whom are from Texas, will enroll at UTD, one of the
fastest-growing public universities in the country, for the fall
Margaret McDermott, whose gift last September making the scholars
program possible was by far the largest gift in UTD’s history , said
after reviewing the selection process and the group of students chosen
that she was "delighted with the first class picked by the
said last fall, when I announced the gift in memory of my husband, that
I expected the McDermott
Scholars to be well-rounded, ethical, smart and eager to learn,"
she said. "I think this
group of young men and women exemplifies those standards."
McDermott, who died in 1973, was a life-long supporter of excellence in
education. He and his TI
co-founders, Cecil Green and the late Erik Jonsson, a former mayor of
Dallas, founded the research institution that more than three decades
ago became The University of Texas at Dallas.
McDermott Scholars program each year will bring some of the best and
brightest young students in the country to UTD, and that inevitably will
enhance the prestige of the university," said University President Dr.
Franklyn G. Jenifer. "UTD
already has a national reputation in such areas as computer science,
engineering and audiology, and the McDermott program can only raise
UTD’s stature even higher."
Provost and Executive Vice President Dr. Hobson Wildenthal, who played a
major role in overseeing the evolution of the Eugene McDermott Scholars
Program from a concept to a reality, praised Mrs. McDermott for making
the program possible and said he had "no doubt that the program would
produce many future leaders."
is a great opportunity for the student-scholars selected, to be sure,"
Wildenthal said. "But I
think they will pay us back many times over with the contributions they
make to society. We will
expect them to be leaders from the first day they set foot on campus."
all of their expenses will be paid, the McDermott Scholars will be free
from the need to work outside of school and will be able to participate
in a wide range of artistic, cultural and educational enrichment
activities the program directors will arrange for them.
The McDermott experience also will include travel opportunities,
beginning with a two-week orientation and leadership-training exercise
in Santa Fe, New Mexico, before classes begin this fall.
At the end of their freshman year, the students will spend two
weeks as a group in Washington, D.C.
The program also will pay for international study and travel.
director of the McDermott Scholars Program, Dr. Charles Leonard, said,
"We’re extremely pleased and proud to have been able to recruit such
a stellar group of young people to be the pioneers in the program.
Of course, their SAT scores are above the 95th
percentile; of course, their grades are exemplary. But what sets the
McDermott Scholars apart from other very bright high school students are
their demonstrated leadership skills in their high schools and their
records of commitment and voluntarism in their communities."
pointed out that the members of the first class of McDermott Scholars
had chosen UTD and the McDermott program over offers from such schools
as Yale University, Carnegie Mellon University, Rice University, The
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, Washington
University in St. Louis, The University of Texas at Austin, The
California Institute of Technology, the University of California at
Berkeley and many others. The
group includes class presidents and valedictorians, captains of school
robotics and debate teams, volunteer tutors, church youth-group leaders,
musicians, athletes, Junior ROTC commanders, competitive chess players,
concert pianists, artists, and fluent speakers of French, Spanish,
Arabic, and Mandarin Chinese.
with this class, each year The Eugene McDermott Scholars Program will
recruit 20 students from throughout Texas and from selected schools in
other states. For
additional information on the program, please call 972-883-4610 or visit
the McDermott Scholars Program web site at www.utdallas.edu/mcdermott.
first McDermott Scholars are listed below, alphabetically by Texas city
for Texas residents and alphabetically by state for those from outside
The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of
Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major
multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor,
enrolls approximately 6,500 undergraduate and 4,500 graduate students.
The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the
forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores.
The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s,
master’s and doctoral degree programs.
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This page last updated April 30, 2001