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March 10, 2008

Media Contact: Beverley Golden
News and Information
The University of Texas at Tyler
903.566.7303 or 903.330.0495 (cell)

UT Tyler to Raise $100,000 for Veterans Scholarships for Veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq Wars

Proceeds from the March 18 patriotic celebration will benefit The University of Texas at Tyler Only in America Scholarship Fund for veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars and their families, President Rodney H. Mabry announced.

Only in America
: A Patriotic Celebration of the American Dream will feature patriot, philanthropist and businessman Don King at 7:30 p.m. in the UT Tyler R. Don Cowan Fine and Performing Arts Center.

General admission tickets are $20 and are available at the UT Tyler Cowan Center box office or online at www.CowanCenter.org. Box office hours are 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. To reach the box office, call 903.566.7424.

The evening includes a special appearance by Roger Williams, former Texas Secretary of State. The Tom Houston Orchestra will present “A Tribute to the Armed Forces” military musical salute at 6:30 p.m.

UT Tyler seeks to raise $100,000, which will provide $2,000 scholarships for up to 50 qualified recipients.

“More than 100 veterans who served in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars are already attending UT Tyler, and many more could attend with better financing,” said President Mabry.

Veterans can choose to participate in the Montgomery GI Bill, which provides $1,100 per month for education-related expenses; however, they must be enrolled full-time to receive the stipend.

“Over nine months, these veterans will receive $9,900, and after paying $5,600 in tuition and fees, little will be left for food, shelter and family needs,” President Mabry added.

Family members are not covered by the GI Bill, so those who wish to go to UT Tyler while their husbands, wives or parents are overseas must find other means.

“Our admissions office estimates these scholarships could allow us to enroll 25 to 50 more students. We want to give our veterans and their spouses, and children in some cases, an opportunity to go to or stay in school. At the same time, we want to thank them for their service to our country,” he said.

That sentiment will be the theme of the March 18 event.

Don King is known for the phrase “only in America,” which he uses to express his allegiance to a country in which he’s accomplished so much.

The conversation between King and Williams on March 18 will honor the investment each veteran has made in this country and celebrate the investment UT Tyler is willing to make in their future through the scholarship program. It should inspire everyone to continue to reach for the American dream, especially the youth, according to President Mabry.

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 70 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of more than 6,000 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.


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