Charles H. Butt, chairman of H-E-B, has donated $5 million to create scholarships for Prairie View A&M University students from public high schools in Texas. The $5 million gift will provide a permanent endowment to support students today and in the coming years. Initially generating approximately $200,000 a year for scholarships, the fund will grow significantly in coming years, making even more available to support students.
To receive a Founders Scholarship, students must be incoming first-year students from a Texas high school who are graduating in the top quartile of their high school class. They must continue to be enrolled full time and make satisfactory progress toward completion of their undergraduate degree while holding the scholarship. Designed as a cohort program, Founders Scholars will have enrichment opportunities unique to their cohort.
Dr. Ruth Simmons, president of PVAMU, commented: “Charles Butt has been amazingly generous to our university. He has shown time and time again that he genuinely cares about the opportunities afforded to students at PV. We are indebted to him for his grace and his humanity.”
Chancellor John Sharp, thanking Mr. Butt for his support of Prairie View, wrote to Mr. Butt, “… words are not there to express the true appreciation for all that you have done.…”
Butt has focused much of his philanthropy on education, creating scholarships to support the training of public school teachers; launching the Holdsworth Center to support the leadership of schools and districts; creating Raise Your Hand Texas to advocate for support for public education; and building a campus on Lake Austin to afford public school educators a professional development environment that reflects the importance of their role in society.