August 11, 2020

COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS The Texas A&M Foundation has honored 297 incoming freshmen as President’s Endowed Scholars, many of whom are National Merit Scholars. Texas A&M University has a history of recruiting National Merit Scholars, having been ranked No. 1 for National Merit Scholar enrollment in the state of Texas, No. 3 among U.S. public universities and No. 7 nationally, according to the most recent 2018 data released by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

Texas A&M Foundation President Tyson Voelkel '96 and Texas A&M University President Michael K. Young recently inducted 297 incoming freshmen as President's Endowed Scholars during a virtual ceremony.

A President’s Endowed Scholarship (PES) is considered the most prestigious academic merit scholarship awarded by Texas A&M.

The program was established in 1968 with only 20 scholarships and was created to reward and support outstanding high school students throughout their college careers. Recipients are chosen solely based on academic achievement and demonstrated student leadership.

The program has cumulatively supported 6,469 Aggies. In the more than five decades since its establishment, the total amount of the endowment for President’s Endowed Scholarships has risen to $59.5 million because of donor support.

“It is a tremendous honor to recognize our new President’s Endowed Scholars,” said Texas A&M President Michael K. Young. “These exceptional students earned our most prestigious academic scholarship through their extraordinary intellectual achievements, their record of service and their potential to be leaders. We’re delighted to welcome them to Texas A&M because we know they will enrich our campuses and our classrooms by bringing a breadth of knowledge and experience that elevates our entire academic community.”

The awarding of the scholarships was held during a virtual event because of the COVID-19 virus.

Texas A&M Foundation President and CEO Tyson Voelkel ’96 congratulated the students and implored them to embrace unforeseen challenges.

“Our annual PES reception is an invaluable opportunity not only to recognize hard-working, brilliant students and officially welcome them to Texas A&M, but also to appreciate what this program and the people who support it have accomplished,” Voelkel said.

“Think about what Texas A&M has become and the level of talent we have attracted over the years,” Voelkel continued. “None of that would have been possible if not for those who felt such a passion for the university and what it stands for that they devoted their resources to invest in it. The PES program is one of the most effective tools for donors to create meaningful, personal and institutional impact at Texas A&M, and it deserves to be celebrated.”

Students are selected to receive a PES during their senior year of high school based on their scholastic and extracurricular records. Scholars receive the award for four years, or eight semesters of undergraduate study, provided they maintain a 3.5 grade point ratio. They also receive a stipend for a study abroad experience.

A PES can be established by an individual or a group with a one-time gift of $100,000 or a series of gifts over five years. Because the scholarships are endowed, they will support Aggie students in perpetuity with a new student benefiting from the scholarship every four years.

“For me, receiving the President's Endowed Scholarship means that my hard work during high school has been recognized and rewarded. It is also a challenge to meet the high levels of academic achievement and integrity expected of PES recipients,” said recipient Bailee CoVan ’24 of Huffman, Texas. “By providing for my scholarship, my PES donor shows that they believe in the value of my education at Texas A&M. They see my potential to become an adult who uses acquired knowledge to think critically and contribute positively to the world.”     

Added recipient Sean Berry ’24 of Flower Mound, Texas, “Receiving the President’s Endowed Scholarship is a gratifying return on the hard work and effort I put into academics over the past years, but it also signifies the effort I must continue to put forth during my time at Texas A&M. The support from donors indicates the importance and impact of such an award and reminds me of the standard I must strive to uphold.”

By Texas A&M University Division of Marketing & Communications

About the Texas A&M Foundation 

The Texas A&M Foundation is a nonprofit organization that aspires to be among the most trusted philanthropies in higher education. It builds a brighter future for Texas A&M University, one relationship at a time.