New UT Austin Scholarship Honors Mayor of 63 Years from Fort Bend County

New and current University of Texas at Austin students who live in Fort Bend County will have the opportunity to receive a full tuition scholarship in memory of Hilmar Moore, a passionate alumnus who had served as mayor of Richmond for 63 years.

The endowed scholarship comes from The George Foundation and The Henderson-Wessendorff Foundation, which together contributed $1 million to eventually provide scholarships for five students annually.

"The foundations came together as we do on many things," said Joe Robinson, chairman of the Henderson-Wessendorff Foundation. "We are both in the same small town and there are a lot of those in need."

Hilmar Moore was the long-serving mayor of Richmond, Texas. The former Longhorn is believed to be the longest-serving mayor in U.S. history and passed away in December 2012.

A native Texan, he spent his entire life in Richmond, Texas and became mayor in 1949 to fill an unexpired term. He then went on to win 32 consecutive elections to serve a total of 63 years.

"Hilmar loved Richmond and Fort Bend County and for many years, his service to the people of the city and county was well known," Robinson said. "We all thought that this would be something he would be pleased to have done."

To qualify for the Hilmar G. Moore Endowed Scholarship, students must have lived or attended school in Fort Bend County and must be permanent residents or U.S. citizens. Also, they must have a GPA of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. Financial need will also be considered, along with leadership qualities and community service experience. More detailed requirements will be available on the scholarship application.

In recent years, the number of students from Fort Bend County attending UT has grown steadily from 1,844 in 2008 to 2,004 in the fall semester of 2012. Fort Bend County is the most diverse county in Texas and ninth in the nation in terms of diversity.

"We've gotten so many requests from students locally, so it's been wonderful to add this to our portfolio of scholarships," said Dee Koch, grant officer of The George Foundation.

The scholarship was announced  June 14 at a private event at the Moore home in Richmond.