Texas A&M University-Kingsville

2011 Scholarship Dinner

2011 Scholarship Dinner
KINGSVILLE (November 9, 2011) — Texas A&M University-Kingsville celebrated its student scholarship recipients and honored the donors that make it possible at the 4th annual Javelina for Life Scholarship Dinner held November 3.2011 Speakers L to R: Jonathan Sulaica, Nick Kolbe, Cecilia Leanos, Yvonne Saldivar, Arlene Lara and Richard Ritchie (Not Pictured: Allison Meier)

Nearly 350 people were on hand for the event, which was held on the A&M-Kingsville campus. Many students had the opportunity to meet and personally thank those who funded their scholarship, engage in scholarly conversation, and have their photo taken together. The event enabled students to learn more about the meaning, mission and benefactors behind their scholarships.

“The Javelina for Life Scholarship Dinner is a celebration of giving.  It provides an opportunity for students to meet the donors who have contributed toward their education.  It also allows donors to meet the scholars that they have invested in,” said Daniel Gaines, assistant director of donor relations and major gifts. “The event also serves as an acknowledgement of achievement.  The students that attend are among the brightest at the university, and the dinner serves as a way to acknowledge their achievements that have earned them scholarships.”

Scott Gines, vice president for Institutional Advancement, served as the master of ceremonies for the evening. The featured speaker was Richard Ritchie, J.D., who is a lawyer in his hometown of Mineral Wells, Texas, and one of the most decorated athletes in Javelina history. A 1977 graduate of Texas A&I University, Ritchie was quarterback for the Javelinas from 1973-76, during which time the team went 39-0, won national championships in 1974-1976, and was ranked No. 1 in the NAIA during most of that time.

The focus of this year’s event was slightly different than in the past with an increased emphasis on showcasing student achievement. This could be seen throughout the program as scholarship recipients gave introductions, speeches and the prayer. The event concluded with a performance by the Javelina Chamber Singers.   

“We wanted to showcase our students and all of their unique talents and abilities. It’s a great way for our alumni and donors to see firsthand the investment they are making by helping our students receive a valuable Javelina education,” said Paige de Vaudrecourt, coordinator of annual giving programs. “We also wanted to introduce our students to the many alumni and friends of the university who are 100 percent committed to seeing them succeed and are the epitome of Javelinas for Life!”
Students who were featured during the program included Cecillia Leanos, a freshman studying criminology and the recipient of the Greater Texas Foundation and Rumaldo & Teresa Juarez Scholarships; Arlene Lara, a junior studying communication science and disorder and Spanish and the recipient of the Larry Kruse Scholarship; Jonathan Sulaica, a junior studying geology and the recipient of the Presidential Gold Series Scholarship; Nick Kolbe, a junior studying wildlife management and the recipient of the Presidential Blue Series, Nick Harrel Jr. Wildlife, and Lyssy Scholarships; Yvonne Saldivar, a junior studying accounting and the recipient of the Presidential Blue Series and Hilda Garcia Undergraduate Scholarships; and Allison Meier, a freshman studying mechanical engineering and the recipient of the Presidential Silver Series and Kelly Scholarships. Leanos, Sulaica, Kolbe, Saldivar and Meier are also Honors College students.

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