New scholarship honors UHV professor emeritus’ legacy
When Joseph Ben-Ur was teaching at the University of Houston-Victoria, he was committed to helping the university, the community and its students. Now, that commitment is being commemorated through a scholarship donation from his family.
The Tamar and Dr. Joseph Ben-Ur Endowed Scholarship has been established thanks to a $50,000 commitment from Ben-Ur’s widow, Tamar, and their daughter, Ela. The scholarship will be administered and awarded by the UHV College of Business, where Ben-Ur taught marketing from 1996 until his retirement in 2019. He passed away on May 7, 2023.
“This scholarship fund is a generous and amazing gift from the family of one of our most beloved faculty members,” said Rhiannon Smith, assistant dean of administration and student services in the business college. “Dr. Ben-Ur’s family wanted to honor his commitment to UHV’s students, and we are pleased to have the opportunity to provide scholarships to students in need through this fund. I hope this legacy and student impact will continue for many years.”
The scholarship will be awarded annually by a committee created by the UHV College of Business. Preference will be given to first-generation students and marketing majors when funds are awarded. The funds can be renewable as long as students continue to meet the scholarship criteria. Applicants also will be asked to submit a statement in response to one of three prompts: What will this degree mean to you and your family, why did you choose to pursue a degree in marketing, or what is your idea of marketing?
“Scholarship donations are always special because they honor loved ones with a legacy that can impact future generations of students long after the namesake is gone,” said Amber Countis, UHV vice president for advancement and external relations. “UHV is honored to partner with the Ben-Ur family to create this scholarship and honor the memory of a professor emeritus who made such a difference during his time at the university.”
Ben-Ur had a lifelong dedication to promoting education and service, Tamar said. In addition to teaching, he served as president of the UHV Faculty Senate twice, served on the Faculty Senate’s committees and was involved in community organizations. He also received the 2009-2010 UHV Distinguished Faculty Service Award.
“We wanted to honor his memory in a commemorative and meaningful way,” Tamar said. “It was important for us to honor his dedication to the university and the community. He loved Victoria and UHV, so it’s only right that our donation reflect that by helping the students and the university where he served.”
Ben-Ur was born in Baghdad, Iraq, in 1940. His father died when Ben-Ur was 10 years old and after the family moved to Israel, Tamar said. Ben-Ur’s mother made sure to encourage him and his siblings to get an education and improve their lives.
“Education was near and dear to his heart, and he knew the importance of completing an education,” she said. “He was a first-generation student, and we wanted this scholarship to help other students like him and support those who need it most in order to complete their degrees. I hope these funds will help students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to come to school.”
The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 50 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.