Inaugural Class of University of Texas at Austin Forty Acres Scholars Announced

Ten top entering freshmen from across the state have been selected to receive the Forty Acres Scholarship, a new program from the Texas Exes Scholarship Foundation.

This will be the first year for the Forty Acres Scholars Program, which will be the largest four-year, merit-based scholarship program and the first of its kind on The University of Texas at Austin campus. Forty Acres Scholars will receive a comprehensive financial package, covering tuition, fees, books and living expenses. The package also includes priority housing in honors residence halls and funding for summer programs such as study abroad, service learning and internships.

About 800 applications were received this fall for 10 available scholarships. The students who were selected have demonstrated exceptional academic performance and leadership ability. The Forty Acres Scholars will have unique opportunities to build upon those skills throughout their time at the university.

"This program will uniquely expand UT's role of 'changing people, who then change the world,' by identifying top scholars with leadership potential and creating a student experience unlike any other on campus," said Jim Boon, executive director of the Texas Exes Scholarship Foundation.

Students who were accepted into the inaugural class of the Forty Acres Scholars are:

  • Anne Alexander, Stratford Senior High School, Houston
  • Monica Bischoff, Westfield High School, Houston
  • Ashley Chang, Victoria East High School, Victoria
  • Joey Dominguez, Klein Oak High School, Spring
  • Stephanie Eisner graduated from The Woodlands High School in The Woodlands
  • Emily Gruener graduated from Langham Creek High School in Houston
  • Connor Healy, Parish Episcopal School, Dallas
  • Wesley Howard, Center High School, Center
  • Armiya Humphrey, Clear Creek High School, League City
  • Linda Shi graduated from Allen High School in Allen

The Texas Exes Scholarship Foundation is continuing to raise funds for the program, with a goal of $150 million. Earnings from the endowment will eventually support 300 students (75 per class), making this one of the country's largest merit-based scholarship programs and enabling the university to compete with the nation's finest institutions for top students.

The Texas Exes Scholarship Foundation was formed in 2009 to oversee the Forty Acres Scholars Program, as well as the more than 700 other scholarships the Texas Exes administers. The scholarships have been established by alumni and alumni groups, including Texas Exes chapters, and other friends of the university. Applications for the 2012 scholarships will be available online in August.