Opinion

President Khator’s Tier One donation shows her commitment to success


David Delgado//The Daily Cougar

David Delgado//The Daily Cougar

According to a recent press release from the University, President and Chancellor Renu Khator and her husband, Suresh, have contributed more than $100,000 to UH’s Tier One Scholars Program. This donation not only proves Khator’s dedication to the excellence of this scholarship program, but to the overall success of UH.

Upon becoming president, one of Khator’s main goals was for UH to become a Tier One university. In 2009, Khator said, “We have been working diligently to elevate this institution to national Tier One status, and one vital factor … is the academic excellence of an institution’s freshman class.”

That same year, the University received an anonymous $7 million endowment, which Khator used to establish the Tier One Scholarship Fund. This fund attracts high-achieving high school students to UH.

Since its establishment, the Tier One Scholarship Fund has brought 191 high-achieving high school students to UH, 135 of whom were in the top 5 percent of their high school class and 17 of whom were high school valedictorians, according to the Tier One Scholars website.

By attracting these top students to UH, the Tier One Scholarship Fund made a large impact on UH becoming a Tier One university.

With UH having already achieved Tier One research status, Khator’s personal contribution to the Tier One Scholars Fund shows how dedicated she is to admitting excellent students.

“It doesn’t really surprise me,” said political science and history senior Katie Teeters, who is a Tier One scholar and is also the founding president of the Foundation of Tier One Scholars. FOTOS is an organization dedicated to networking and supporting the Tier One scholars at UH.

“Dr. Khator started this program, and she could have given the endowment to anything, but she decided to create the Tier One Scholarship. This further donation just proves how much she truly believes in the program.”

For Teeters, the Tier One scholarship was instrumental in her decision to attend UH. “Actually, it made the decision … I was offered full scholarships elsewhere, but the Tier One Scholarship just offered so many more opportunities.” The opportunities that make the scholarship unique include on-campus housing as well as stipends for both research and study abroad.

As one of the newest Tier One Scholars, I will say that I was a bit surprised when I heard of Khator’s donation. I really didn’t understand how much President Khator did for the program that initially attracted me to UH. Khator’s donation assures me that in my time here, UH will continue to attract the best students and improve academically.

To be honest, UH was not my first choice. I had a grand idea of going to an Ivy League school and riding my bike through a grassy knoll as the leaves changed color. This dream was put to an end by both rejection letters and a factor that usually comes up against dreams: money.

So feeling academically and financially inferior, my psyche was not in a good place at the beginning of my last semester at high school. Imagine my joy when, one brisk February afternoon, I received a package containing a bound book with glossy pages, telling me that my college education would be paid for.

I later received a phone call from a current Tier One Scholar who answered all of my questions. After the whirlwind of emotions that is the college application process, I’m happy that because of the Tier One Scholarship, I’m able to call UH my home.

The personal connection UH makes with potential scholars really makes a difference in their decision to attend UH. The opportunities extended by the Tier One Scholarship help to assure scholars will get the most out of their experience as well as the tools to positively affect the UH community. Dr. Khator’s donation has enabled the University to extend the Tier One Scholarship to many more deserving students who will, in turn, leave a positive impact on UH through academics and campus involvement.

Opinion columnist Emily Johnson is an English literature freshman and may be reached at [email protected]

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