Scholar Program Founder Howard Terry Mourned

Apr. 20, 2012

The University of Texas at Dallas mourns the passing of Howard Terry, whose generosity made it possible for dozens of students to attend UT Dallas under a scholarship program that bears his name.

The Houston philanthropist was 95. The University learned of his death Friday.

Terry and his wife, Nancy Terry, established the Terry Scholars Program in 1986.

“UT Dallas and many other institutions will be indebted to him for his enduring dedication to the academic success of Texas students,” said President David E. Daniel. “We and our alumni and students who have benefited from his vision are saddened by his passing.”

The Terry Foundation has assisted thousands of college students statewide to achieve their goals in higher education by providing millions in scholarship funding. Since 2006, 84 UT Dallas students have been named Terry Scholars. They have received nearly $3.5 million from the foundation, enabling them to graduate without debt. 

Terry had been successful in a wide variety of businesses, ranging from banking to oil and gas, but he called the scholar program his top achievement. “The Terry Foundation is the most important thing I’ve done in my life, because it’s enabled me to help more people than I would have ever been able to help otherwise,” he once said.

Terry Scholars are nominated by their universities based in part on their leadership potential and academic ability. In total, the foundation will provide more than $1 million for scholarships this fall.

“Mr. Terry’s vision and enlightened philanthropy have provided many hundreds of ambitious and capable young Texans with wonderful educations,” said Dr. Hobson Wildenthal, provost and executive vice president. “This great work continues and will continue to change Texas for the better, in ways beyond measure. UT Dallas is deeply grateful for the confidence that Mr. Terry had in our students and our university.”

The program has been a tremendous asset, said Dr. J. Michael Coleman, who was dean of undergraduate education when UT Dallas was selected to participate. “The Terry Scholarship program brought a high-level academic scholarship to a wider range of students,” Coleman said.

Derek Nguyen, a junior biochemistry major at UT Dallas, is a Terry Scholar recipient who said the award had enabled him to continue his education.

“Mr. Terry graciously bestowed on us a tremendous gift,” Nguyen said, “a chance to obtain a college degree.”

The Terry Foundation is the largest provider of private scholarships in the state, awarding more than $100 million to 2,500-plus collegians.  Scholarships are also awarded at UT Austin, Texas A&M University, the University of Houston, Texas State University, UT San Antonio, the University of North Texas and Texas Tech University. 

“Mr. Terry had a vision of supporting students who might not otherwise have had the opportunity to achieve their dreams,” said Blythe Torres, director of the Terry Scholars Program at UT Dallas. “We honor him by continuing our efforts to further his vision.”

Media Contact: Katherine Morales, 972-883-4321, [email protected]
or the Office of Media Relations, 972-883-2155, [email protected]
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Howard and Nancy Terry

Houston philanthropist Howard Terry and his wife, Nancy, established the Terry Scholars Program in 1986.

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June 22, 2018