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Giving Back to Education

Mike and Elsa TanseyIn the early 1960s, Mike Tansey was working full time and raising four children. Mike’s job at NASA involved biometric data related to the astronaut program, and he realized a math degree would be beneficial.

Night school at the University of Houston was his path to get that degree.

“I’ve always felt I owed something to UH for giving me an opportunity to complete a degree program,” said Tansey, a native Houstonian who received his B.S. in 1965. “Eventually, we started giving to the alumni association and buying season tickets to football.”

Mike’s math background led to seismic data processing and later to computer software package development for oil and gas companies, aerospace, trucking firms and investment companies. “My math degree was instrumental in every aspect of my career,” he said.

“We firmly believe that every graduate of this great university should open their checkbooks and give regularly to the school that provided them with the opportunity to be successful in their lives.” – Mike Tansey (‘65)After many years of giving annual charitable donations to many organizations, the Tanseys reviewed their pattern of giving.

“We decided to prioritize and give to Mike’s favorite institution,” said Elsa, Mike’s wife.

That decision led them to establish the Tansey Family Scholarship Endowment for undergraduates in UH’s College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. “We decided we could make a greater impact on students by concentrating most of our charitable giving in one area,” she said.

The Tanseys hope their endowment will help NSM attract and keep quality students at the undergraduate level and encourage them to stay at UH for their graduate education. Recently, they started supporting NSM’s Graduate Fellowship Program.

“We firmly believe that every graduate of this great university should open their checkbooks and give regularly to the school that provided them with the opportunity to be successful in their lives,” Mike said. “New graduates should make donating to UH an annual activity, even if the gift is not large.”

For the Tanseys, it’s about giving back to the school that gave Mike his chance at a degree and helping current and future students attain that same foundation in higher education.