The University of Houston-Victoria unveiled on Thursday a new way area residents can support future growth in Victoria.
Campaign Victoria: Supporting the Dream is an effort to raise $250,000 annually for the next five years to fund scholarships that will help recruit the first freshmen and sophomores to UHV from cities like San Antonio, Corpus Christi and Houston, and the Rio Grande Valley.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for individuals and businesses to make a positive difference in the lives of students and support growth for our community,” Campaign Director Amy Mundy said. “These scholarships will help bring students to Victoria who otherwise might never have come here.”
UHV will welcome its “FIRST 200,” the initial group of freshmen and sophomores, in the fall of 2010 after establishing a tradition of excellence for more than 35 years as an upper-level institution offering junior-, senior- and graduate-level courses.
Many of those students will stay to become the next generation of business and civic leaders, said Randy Vivian, president of the Victoria Chamber of Commerce and a UHV alumnus.
“Our businesses and community need an infusion of young blood to help this area stay vibrant and dynamic for years to come,” he said. “This campaign will directly support those goals.”
And in the short term, those students will bring millions of dollars to the local economy, he said.
The campaign isn’t seeking just large contributions, Mundy said.
“Anyone can be part of this effort,” she said. “Donations of any amount will help. Several small donations can quickly add up to an amount that can make a real difference in the life of a student.”
One donor said supporting the program makes good financial sense.
“Investing in scholarships at the University of Houston-Victoria will pay tremendous dividends for the future of this city, this community and this entire region,” said Claud Jacobs, a Campaign Victoria donor and area businessman. “By helping these students achieve their dreams, we will be supporting the dream of growth and prosperity for our community.”
Scholarship donors will be able to meet the students they are helping and see them grow and mature as they study at UHV, Jacobs said.
“And you’ll be able to see firsthand how those who benefited from your generosity will go on to benefit future generations of this community,” he said.
More information about the campaign is available at www.campaignvictoria.com. Visitors can make a donation and read messages from donors about why they decided to support the campaign. New donors are encouraged to leave messages of their own.
“UHV enriched my life in so many expected and unexpected ways. It opened whole worlds to me that I would not otherwise have experienced. I just wanted to help others experience and enjoy that enrichment,” wrote Sandra Heinold, an early supporter of the campaign and manager of UHV Academic & Career Services.
Web site visitors also can watch videos and get updates on the latest news about the university’s expansion and the campaign.
Along with the Web site, information about the campaign will be spread by media and production sponsors that donated time, skills and services to help spread the word, Mundy said.
“We couldn’t have done this without their support,” she said. Participating in the campaign are The Victoria Television Group, Victoria Advocate, GAP Broadcasting, Lamar Outdoor Advertising, Bright Idea Media and On the Edge Photography.
UHV’s senior leader expressed his thanks to all community members for their past and future support.
“Our journey to becoming a true destination university has been guided by the strong support of forward-thinking community allies,” UHV President Tim Hudson said. “Their continuing commitment and the help of all future-minded citizens will enable UHV to bring new students to our community and to fulfill its promise as a force for cultural, social and economic progress for our region for decades to come.”
Those seeking additional information can contact Mundy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 361-570-4306.
The admission of underclassmen and the offering of freshmen- and sophomore-level classes is pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.