Golf Tournament Endowment Contributes Over $156,000 Towards UTD Scholarships

March 13, 2023

Three men hold a large check between them.

From left: Dr. Calvin D. Jamison, vice president for Facilities & Economic Development; Dr. Richard C. Benson, president of the University; Dr. Juan Gonzalez, dean of Graduate Education

On behalf of the UT Dallas Scholarship Golf Tournament endowment, Dr. Calvin D. Jamison, vice president for Facilities & Economic Development (F&ED), was recently able to present Dr. Richard C. Benson, president of the University, with a check for $156,112 towards UTD scholarships. This year’s recipients were the Betty & Gifford Johnson Graduate Endowment, which helps graduate students attend and make presentations at national conferences; the Patti Henry Pinch Undergraduate Endowment, which assists undergraduates with research and travel expenses; and the Academic Bridge Scholarship Endowment, which helps ease the transition from high school to college by providing on-campus housing, advising, mentoring and tutoring to first-generation college students. Dr. Juan Gonzalez, dean of Graduate Education, was on hand to represent the graduate students who will be benefiting from this contribution.

The tournament endowment, started by Dr. Austin Cunningham, professor emeritus and retired dean of Graduate Studies, has grown into a reliable source of scholarship funding that has helped many Comets over the years. Dr. Jamison recalled that when F&ED first began administering the tournament, its endowment was less than $200,000. Today, it has surpassed one million dollars. This milestone means that even with just a 5% interest gain, the endowment could keep contributing $50,000 towards student scholarships every year.

The UT Dallas Scholarship Golf Tournament has also developed into a great source of community-building among supporters of the University. Long having outgrown its original golf course, the event now takes over two different courses at the Firewheel Golf Park in Garland, Texas. UTD leadership, regional captains of industry, professional golfers and even a former Miss America have made appearances on the green. Local businesses regularly donate goods and services for the tournament auction, which has become an important fundraising component for the event. Scholarship recipients come to the competition to let the players know how much UT Dallas scholarships have affected their research and education. Some teams have been meeting up at this tournament for years.

A small army of University volunteers work behind the scenes for months to put on this highly-anticipated event, which continues to fill Firewheel Golf Park every time Dr. Jamison announces the “shotgun start” to another great day of golf.

The mission of the Office of Facilities & Economic Development is to support the growth and success of UT Dallas. Service is not what we do! Service is who we are!