Board of Visitors
Leads the Way
in Supporting Competitive Recruitment Scholarship,
the Distinguished Scholars Award

The University of Houston is proud to announce a generous gift that will empower academically talented students and fuel the University’s ascension to a place among the Top 50 public research institutions. The Board of Visitors, a presidentially appointed ambassadorial board of strategic thinkers and leaders across a broad array of industries in Houston and across the nation, came together to make a significant gift to the Distinguished Scholars.

The board has instituted a new annual financial commitment for its members. This commitment will establish a collective fund that President Renu Khator will allocate toward a priority institutional initiative each year. The fund serves as recognition of members’ dedication to UH and their support for the President’s goals.

After reviewing four options, Khator has decided to direct the board’s $115,000 gift to create a Distinguished Scholars award endowment. This competitive recruitment scholarship aims to attract and retain exceptional students.

Aylwin Lewis (’76, M.B.A. ’90), recently completed his term as chair of the Board of Visitors (2021-24), elaborated on why this decision was meaningful to the board.

“The Board of Visitors is a vocal champion for student success, and this endowment demonstrates our commitment to the University. We believe deeply in the importance of investing in scholarships and creating opportunities for UH’s talented students. It’s exciting to know that future students will be impacted by this gift. I am proud of our members and grateful to each member for their contribution.”

Aylwin Lewis (’76, M.B.A. ’90) at the Board of Visitors meeting in April 2024

Aylwin Lewis (’76, M.B.A. ’90) at the Board of Visitors meeting in April 2024

The Distinguished Scholars awards program aims to attract highly accomplished students who have achieved exceptional standardized scores and rank in the top 10% of their graduating class. These prestigious awards not only help academically gifted students achieve their educational dreams but also enhance the reputation of UH as a first-choice institution and a national leader in recruiting and cultivating top student talent.

Recipients of these scholarships receive generous financial support of $8,000 per year, enabling them to embark on their academic journey with confidence and determination. Students are eligible for this scholarship for all four years of their undergraduate studies, provided they remain full-time students and maintain their academic standing. This sustained support enables them to excel and thrive throughout their undergraduate experience.

What sets this initiative apart is the University of Houston Board of Regents’ commitment to matching any donations made to the scholarship endowment. With an initial donor investment of $100,000, the annual endowment distribution of $4,000 in scholarship funding is doubled through the board’s endowment. This matching program guarantees that every endowment distribution from donors is doubled, amplifying the support extended to these promising scholars.

“We are grateful for the Board of Visitors’ generous investment in our students and hope this gift will inspire others. Recruiting and retaining high-performing students is a vital component of our broader mission. By nurturing and empowering the next generation of leaders, innovators and changemakers, we not only enhance our academic prowess but also enrich the fabric of our local community and workforce,” said Eloise Brice, vice president for the Division of Advancement and Alumni.