Three senior students attending Bullard High School received a special honor during an event on-campus to celebrate academic excellence and achievement, and will now enter the next phase of their lives and educational opportunities without having to worry about the cost.
Representatives from the University of Texas at Tyler were present at the BHS campus Friday, Feb. 2, for the school’s academic pep rally, where BHS seniors Faith Crist, Joseph Hudson, and Joshua Wagner were called out from amongst the student body and recognized as winners of the UT Tyler Presidential Fellow Scholarship.
The three BHS seniors are a part of the scholarship’s inaugural class, made up of more than 200 current senior high school students who will be attending UT Tyler beginning in the Fall 2018 semester.
“We have given a total of 220 Presidential Fellow Scholarships this year,” said Angie Copeland, UT Tyler Director of Admissions. “With this scholarship, these students will graduate debt free; tuition, mandatory fees, housing, meal plans, and books are all covered. We’re very proud to award these high-achieving students. They are the type of students that everyone competes to get, and we’re very happy they decided to attend UT Tyler after their high school graduation.”
With Copeland at the event were a number of representatives from UT Tyler carrying balloons, T-shirts, swag bags, and yard signs for the scholarship winners.
Crist is the daughter of Chip and Heather Crist. She plans to major in pharmacy at UT Tyler.
“When I learned I had received the Presidential Fellow Scholarship from UT Tyler, I was overwhelmed with joy,” said Crist. “I was excited, anxious, and happy all at the same time. In that moment I knew that everything I had worked so hard for was paying off.”
When asked why she selected UT Tyler as her collegiate destination, Crist said the new addition of the pharmacy school at the university helped her make the decision.
“I chose to go to UT Tyler because I received a full ride and many other things,” said Crist. “I want to become a pharmacist and UT Tyler has just opened a new pharmacy school. UT Tyler is a great overall school and I’m excited to attend there in the fall.”
Hudson is the son of Michelle and Fred Hudson. While attending UT Tyler, he hopes to major in biochemistry.
“When I found out about the scholarship I realized I wasn’t going to have to worry about how I was going to pay for things for the next four years,” said Hudson. “This meant a lot less stress, a lot less debt in the long run, and more money that I can save now. I plan on using the savings I can get for the next four years to help pay for medical school if I get in. This just gives me many more opportunities for things to do over these next few years.”
Hudson said he chose to attend UT Tyler after graduating from BHS after learning about the school’s Presidential Fellow Scholarship.
“Originally I had planned on attending SFA, but whenever I heard about the scholarship I decided to go take a look,” said Hudson. “It wasn’t even on my radar until I had begun to look more into it, but after touring there, checking out the facilities, meeting with people, it really has grown on me tremendously.”
Wagner is the son of Shelley and Dallas Wagner. He plans to pursue a degree in electrical engineering at UT Tyler.
“I knew I was probably going to receive the scholarship but I had no idea that they were going to surprise us like they did,” said Wagner. “They treated us like we were really important to them, which was exciting. My parents were definitely happy about it because they had to pay for all my three of my siblings’ college education and I was the only one to get a full ride.”
According to Wagner, the idea of attending UT Tyler came about after a desire to be close to Bullard for his basic college education.
“I’ve been unsure about what to major in, so I wasn’t really sure what college I wanted to go to,” said Wagner. “I decided to stay home and go ahead and take my basic courses, so this scholarship really sweetened the deal for me. It was originally just a one year thing, but I’ll probably stay longer since they gave me the scholarship.”
According to UT Tyler, students selected for the inaugural Presidential Fellow Scholarship class rank in the top one percent of ACT and SAT scores nationwide.
Senior students can still apply for the UT Tyler Presidential Fellow Scholarship. According to Copeland, the scholarship deadline is Thursday, March 1.
For more information about the UT Tyler Presidential Fellow Scholarship, visit www.uttyler.edu.