The University of Texas at San Antonio
Howard and Betty Murray Halff met each other because of UTSA. But this isn’t a typical story of boy meets girl during a class. No, Howard and Betty found each other a little later in life because they were both avid supporters of the university and of education in San Antonio.
Betty worked in the UTSA Development Office in the 1980s and early 1990s, establishing the first efforts to coordinate and raise gifts for the university. “I think I met Howard during an event at the Institute of Texan Cultures,” she says. Howard and his family had a long record of service to the community, including supporting UTSA by making gifts and attending events.
Upon Betty’s retirement came an opportunity for Howard to honor his bride by helping to build a scholarship in her honor, a testament to her many years of service to the community and to UTSA. Betty says, “Howard’s support came out of his respect for what the university had done for me and for the opportunities that it provided to young men and women.”
Betty Murray Halff
The Betty Murray Halff Endowment is part of the Long Term Fund managed by UTIMCO. It provides scholarships for student leaders through the UTSA Ambassadors, an organization that represents the university by serving as hosts at campus events. Betty knew the Ambassadors very well because they assisted her with the many events and programs that her office sponsored. As she wrote the criteria for the scholarship, she felt of a great sense of pride that she now had an opportunity to help students who gave so much to support their university. “I am delighted that the scholarship benefits students who are so service oriented and I thought that should be emphasized,” she says.
Dr. Pat Graham, advisor to the UTSA Ambassadors, agrees: “The students work so hard throughout the year. It really is an honor to be selected as a Halff Scholar, especially because they know that someone as kind as Betty cares about their success. Her support really encourages their continued service.”
With Howard’s passing in 2009, he once again honored Betty’s faithful service with a gift to the fund from his estate, taking the market value of the endowment to more than $500,000. Now, as the endowment grows, even more Ambassadors will have access to education, thanks to Howard and Betty.
“The Ambassadors represent the best students at UTSA, not just for their academic achievements but also because of their selfless service to the university and the community,” says Betty. “They truly love UTSA. I am honored that Howard and I have built a scholarship that makes it possible for bright and talented students to get an education.”