Jim Ewbank, pictured (left) above with School of Performing Arts Chairman Dr. Michael Thrasher, contributed UT Tyler’s first endowed music scholarship The Carolyn McLean Ewbank Endowed Music Scholarship.
“I saw the first brick laid on this campus,” remarks Jim Ewbank of Tyler and long-time friend of the University of Texas at Tyler. “The first building was started in the middle of my walking trail, and I’ve been very proud to watch it grow.”
And Jim’s involvement didn’t stop with only admiring the activity of a fledgling educational space. He and his wife Carolyn quickly became involved. Carolyn was an adjunct professor of psychology at UT Tyler in the 80s, and she also continued the training necessary to perform neuropsychological testing. She was in the first graduate psychopharmacology class in the fall semester of 1983. After Carolyn lost her battle with ovarian cancer in 1999, Jim memorialized her with an endowed psychology scholarship that bears her name. “Carolyn loved helping people, so it just seemed natural to continue to help those students that continue her work.”
As a geologist in oil and gas exploration for 50 plus years, Jim claims he has a risk-taking nature. But with his gifts of scholarships to UT Tyler, he promises there is absolutely nothing to risk. “It’s the only 100% sure investment I’ve made in my lifetime – my contribution to scholarships.” Jim declares his gifts really mean more than you think. “I’ve grown fond of this university and The University of Texas System of colleges and health care facilities. And that’s saying a lot coming from this University of Oklahoma graduate, Class of 1957. I guess I bleed red and orange and blue.”
In spring of 2010, Jim decided to give another scholarship to honor Carolyn, which is the first and only endowed music scholarship at UT Tyler. “My wife was a psychologist, but she was also a masterful musician as a pianist accompanying symphonies, choirs, soloists, and concerts.”
“My first real involvement in UT Tyler was as a member of Friends of the Arts (FOA), a volunteer arm of the School of Performing Arts (SPA). This organization opened my eyes to the need for faculty and student support. When Dr. Michael Thrasher, Director of SPA, told us there were no endowed music scholarships, I couldn’t believe it. I really want to see UT Tyler succeed, especially the music school.” Evidence of Jim’s love for music is seen on several fronts, including student scholarships for FOA Opera Appreciation Class and as an avid Cowan Center supporter.
Endowment means legacy to Jim. “I want my wife’s name involved with education in Arts and psychology – especially music. “It’s all about her, and endowment means her name will be attached to this scholarship forever.”
“The one thing about my life is I’ve done everything I wanted to do. Now I’m just enjoying a little work and a lot of travel.” Jim played college football as quarterback. He flew jet aircraft and retired as a Lt. Colonel. “It took me 27 years to get the lightning bolt insignia on my cap. I’ve also struck oil a few times. I’m scratching things off my Bucket List. Leaving something that lasts is always on the list.”
Jim’s son Jimmy is an Austin attorney and daughter Robin is the college counselor at Marine Military Academy, Harlingen.