The University of Texas at San Antonio
To many philanthropic-minded individuals, the most gratifying experience is extending a helping hand to students in need and making the dream of a college degree come true. Scholarships are very personal gifts that reach out and change lives. Scholarships at The University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA) take on greater significance because so many students come from families that cannot fully support their children's tuition, fees, books and other expenses. For perspective, 35 percent
of the UTSA student body reports an annual family income of less than $25,000. Scholarships often bridge financial gaps in the lives of students struggling to make ends meet and help to alleviate the pressure to work so many hours during the semester.
The UTSA College of Business has been fortunate to have many friends step forward and provide much-needed scholarship funds. The stories behind a donor's motivation vary, but each shows a heightened sense of caring and concern about this and future generations of business students. One of the most powerful stories centers on an organization called the Governor's Club. They are far from the best known organization in San Antonio, but they have been effective in becoming one of the college's most valued partners.
Formed in 1977 with just four members, the Governor's Club meets once a week to exchange leads and business development information. The name stems from the name of the meeting room the group used for many years. The organization now has 70 members. Though a wide range of businesses is represented, they avoid having more than one person per industry segment as members. The approach has worked well and several members report building a significant share of their business around Governor's Club referrals.
The late Neil Denton was a member of the college's Advisory Council and a charter member of the Governor's Club. In an earlier interview regarding the Governor's Club, he explained that club members wanted to give back to the community and felt that San Antonio's largest business school was a natural choice for their philanthropic efforts. They started The Governor's Club Scholarship Endowment in 1984 with a modest initial gift and have steadily contributed about $5,000 a year to the fund. This has resulted in an endowment worth $110,000, the largest endowed scholarship in the College of Business. The endowment currently funds five scholarships each academic year.
Members of the Governor's Club point out that scholarships can and should be viewed as investments as much as they are gifts. Scholarship recipients graduate and enrich the community in vital ways - starting businesses, creating jobs and sparking economic activity in the community, adding their voices and leadership to community and civic causes, and raising families and improving the quality of life in countless other ways. New president Bill Lane added, "We're not the biggest or best known businesspeople around, but we believe our endowment shows what can be achieved through long-term commitment. Small gifts, made regularly and invested wisely, add up over time."