UT Loses a Leader: Howard Terry, Investor in Scholarships

It’s sometimes said that a scholarship is an investment, not a gift. No one embodied that better than Howard Terry.

Terry, BBA ’38, Distinguished Alumnus, died April 20 at age 95. Terry attended UT on a football scholarship and captained the Longhorns in 1937.

Later in life, after finding success in the business world, he gave $100 million in scholarships to more than 2,600 Texas college students through his Terry Foundation.

On his official blog, President Bill Powers called Terry “a man of generosity, care, and humility.”

“This year, the Terry Foundation supports 212 Longhorn students with full-ride scholarships valued at more than $3.35 million,” Powers wrote. “Howard will be sorely missed, but his far-sighted legacy will live on for decades to come.”

Terry was so beloved by his scholarship recipients that a group of them held an impromptu memorial at the UT stadium on Sunday.

After graduating from UT, Terry worked at Proctor & Gamble until World War II, when he served as a boat captain in the Navy. After the war, he founded numerous successful companies in industries ranging from manufacturing to oil and gas exploration.

The Terry Foundation, which Terry founded in 1986 with his wife, Nancy, is Texas’ largest private source of scholarships.

Even at 95, Terry worked a full day at the foundation’s Houston office the day before his death.

Alicia Dietrich, BJ ’04, Life Member, says receiving a Terry Scholarship enabled thousands like her to graduate from UT debt-free.

“‘I’m still wrapping my head around the impact this scholarship had on my life and the opportunities and flexibility afforded to me after school,” Dietrich says. “Cheers to a life well-lived and a fantastic role model for us all.”



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