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Texas A&M University to establish special scholarship at UT Austin to honor 1999 Bonfire tragedy “spirit”

Texas AandM University will establish a $50,000 scholarship at The University of Texas at Austin in remembrance of the spirit displayed by UT Austin students and faculty following the 1999 Bonfire tragedy.

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AUSTIN, Texas—Texas AandM University will establish a $50,000 scholarship at The University of Texas at Austin in remembrance of the spirit displayed by UT Austin students and faculty following the 1999 Bonfire tragedy.

In creating the special student scholarship, Texas AandM cites the special fellowship displayed by UT Austin with the AandM community in the aftermath of last year’s tragic event at Texas AandM. Last week, UT Austin marked the first anniversary by darkening its famous Tower and displaying orange, white and maroon ribbons in trees on the campus.

The scholarship officially will be known as the “1999 Bonfire Unity Endowed Presidential Scholarship.” It will be available to any UT Austin undergraduate student who meets certain academic standards, is involved in student activities and who displays a clear commitment to the ideals displayed by The University of Texas during Texas AandM’s Bonfire tragedy.

“Last year’s tragedy at Texas AandM has been shared by all Texans,” said UT Austin President, Larry R. Faulkner. “We are honored to have this scholarship placed at The University of Texas at Austin. It is our deepest hope that the memory of those who lost their lives in 1999 will live forever in future generations of students who merit Bonfire Unity Scholarships.”

AandM President Ray M. Bowen said, “We are most appreciative of the support of everyone associated with The University of Texas at Austin regarding the 1999 Bonfire tragedy, and we thought an appropriate manner to demonstrate our appreciation would be to endow this scholarship. Its name specifically includes the term ‘Unity’ to underscore that our two universities are indeed unified in matters of utmost importance, and that certainly includes concern for students and families at both of our institutions. Although we are fierce competitors on the athletic field, we share common values.

“We extend special thanks to Regent Robert H. Allen and his wife, Judy, for their generous financial support in making possible the endowment for the scholarship.”

The scholarship was made possible by a matching gift of $25,000 from the philanthropic couple. Robert Allen is a member of the Texas AandM System Board of Regents.

Further information regarding the 1999 Bonfire Unity Scholarship program is available from the Vice President for Student Affairs, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78713.