UNT Student Alumni Association (SAA) started out the 2012-2013 school year with a few goals to accomplish in its first year of establishment: raise enough money to give out at least one $1,000 scholarship in May 2013, recruit new members, and promote UNT pride. Not only did they meet their goals, they exceeded them. Over the course of the two long semesters, SAA members in conjunction with NT40 raised over $1,300 from students during their fundraising campaign, Students Giving to Students. The campaign is “for the students, by the students” in that money is only solicited from students and then given back through a scholarship award.
This year, in addition to the student donations, two other generous gifts were given to the SAA Scholarship Fund. The UNT Alumni Association donated $1,000 that was raised from graduation tassel sales and young alumnus Alan Ross also gave $1,000. These gifts enabled SAA to award three $1,000 scholarships for the 2013-2014 academic year.
The opportunity to apply for the scholarship was sent via email to the student body (undergraduates and graduates are eligible to apply) and was also posted on the SAA website, http://studentaffairs.unt.edu/SAA. Over 400 applications were submitted within a two week period. A scholarship selection committee made up of SAA, NT40 and Student Government Association members then came together to pick the 3 recipients. After 6 hours of reading, discussing and deliberating, the committee selected three well deserving students based on need, involvement in the UNT community, and UNT pride. The recipients are Ali Raza, Jidong Yao, and Taylor Lindholm.
Each spring, NT40 hosts an awards banquet and this year invited the scholarship recipients to attend and be honored. Several other UNT community members were also in attendance: the SAA executive board, UNT Alumni Association (Rob McKinney), Student Affairs Administration (Blake Rexroat), and three student donors who gave at least their class gift.