Students in the College of Science and Engineering at The University of Texas-Pan American will now have the opportunity to apply for additional student scholarships made possible by a recent $50,000 grant from Texas Gas Service (TGS) and its corporate foundation, the ONEOK Foundation.
The grant is the first charitable contribution from TGS and the ONEOK Foundation to a higher education institution in the Rio Grande Valley.
UTPA President Dr. Blandina Cárdenas said the scholarships will be available to students in the School of Engineering which has graduated more than 480 students in its last 10 years of existence.
"We have an extraordinary responsibility to develop the science and engineering talents for Texas and the nation for this century," Cárdenas said. "I find our students to be the most well-mannered and best dressed, and they always live by those fundamental South Texas values. They have a powerful work ethic, a desire to be of service and also have a patriotic devotion to our country. Your (TGS) scholarships and your support will make a difference for so many of our students."
University staff worked closely with TGS and ONEOK Foundation representatives to create the scholarship program which will award a $1,000 scholarship to three students per year and offer an opportunity for renewal up to four years. To be eligible for the scholarship students must be a resident of Hidalgo, Willacy or Cameron County and demonstrate financial need.
"Texas Gas Service wanted to make sure that the scholarship recipients are able to re-apply for the scholarship through UTPA's University Scholarship Committee," LaFever said. "We are hoping this will give them the impetus to stay in school and finish on time."
TGS is a natural gas utility with 70,000 customers throughout Hidalgo, Cameron and Willacy counties and more than 550,000 customers statewide. TGS is committed to giving back to the community through numerous charitable and community investments. TGS, through the ONEOK Foundation, invests its charitable contributions in programs that enhance quality of life and economic well-being in the communities where TGS operates, according to the company's Web site.
"We are very grateful to Texas Gas Service and the ONEOK Foundation for their support for our students," Roland Arriola, UTPA's vice president for External Affairs, said. "Education is the key to building a better future for our community. Together we can make a difference."