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University of Houston experts, including James Lawrence, associate professor of geosciences, are prepared to comment on the topics related to hurricane season preparation and response.

Eric Gerber
egerber@uh.edu
713/743-8189

$7 Million Gift Paves Way for 200 New Scholarships'TierOne Scholarship Fund' Will Support Top-Flight Freshmen Starting Next Year

April 2, 2009 - Houston - As families nationwide grapple with financial hardships, the University of Houston is acutely aware that many students' dreams of attending college are being challenged.  Unwilling to let those dreams fade, UH President Renu Khator today announced an ambitious fundraising campaign to create hundreds of new student scholarships.

The university received a $7 million gift from an anonymous donor who wanted to support promising students seeking a top-tier education at the University of Houston. Khator plans to double that $7 million initial gift by matching all donations to the newly created "UH TierOne Scholarship Fund."  Money generated from this endowment will fund competitive awards annually to as many as 200 top-achieving freshmen starting in fall 2010. The scholarships are intended to cover or exceed the cost of a UH TierOne Scholar's tuition for four years. 

"This extraordinarily generous gift and the fundraising challenge allow UH to respond to a critical economic need. Just as importantly, it helps us make sure that the very best students have the opportunities that they deserve," Khator said. "The UH TierOne Scholarship Fund also represents a foundation on which UH will build an increasingly impressive freshman class profile by recruiting even more students with outstanding academic track records. This fits in directly with our objective of elevating this institution to national Tier-One status. And it allows us to maintain and even improve the robust and diverse nature of our overall enrollment."

The UH TierOne Scholar awards will be based upon both need and merit, according to Provost John Antel. Creating this level of scholarship will expand access to promising students and offer them tremendous opportunities that give them an edge in our competitive global marketplace. 

"Our UH TierOne Scholars will have the funding support they need to participate directly in research projects with faculty, to study abroad and develop a global network of contacts, and to make a difference right here in Houston through innovative community service initiatives," Antel explained.

Khator emphasized that nurturing Tier One-caliber students at UH creates a brain trust that benefits Houston now and in the future.

"These scholarships will create a legacy of excellence," she said. "By helping the brightest minds overcome today's economic challenges, we will ensure that our students are well-prepared leaders who can help our society overcome even greater ones in the future."

When the UH TierOne dollar-for-dollar fundraising challenge is fully realized, it will create a $14 million endowment.  New scholarship gifts of $25,000 or more will be directly matched by funds from the initial gift. For more information about contributing to the UH TierOne Scholars effort, contact Spencer Yantis, associate vice president for university advancement, at 713-743-8872 or by e-mail at styantis@uh.edu .

About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas' premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities.  UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 36,000 students.